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Controversial New Religions$
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James R. Lewis and Jesper Aagaard Petersen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019515682X.001.0001

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From Atlantis to America

From Atlantis to America

JZ Knight Encounters Ramtha

(p.319) 14 From Atlantis to America
Controversial New Religions

Gail M. Harley

Oxford University Press

This essay examines the practice of channeling — exemplified by the Ramtha School of Enlightenment — as a unique opportunity for asserting feminine spirituality. School founder J. Z. Knight channels Ramtha, a 35,000-year-old warrior and a survivor of a cataclysmic destruction on Lemuria who fled to Atlantis for safety. Knight is placed in the context of women who utilize charismatic leadership to build bridges to the divine. The eclecticism of the Ramtha school is considered, with its use of gnosticism and quantum physics, and its focus on personal transformation; the school is placed within the modern New Age subculture that itself attempts a gender-equal construction. Finally, the controversy of gender is used to analyze society’s validation of women who channel the divine and advocate an immanent God.

Keywords:   Ramtha, Ramtha School of Enlightenment, channeling, feminine spirituality, gnosticism, J. Z. Knight, women religious leaders, New Age, gender

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