From Atlantis to America

Gail M. Harley

in Controversial New Religions

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156829
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784806 | DOI:
 From Atlantis to America

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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

Chapter.  4800 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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