This chapter presents a case study of a Scottish exponent of the “simple life”, Dugald Semple (1884−1964), within early 20th-century networks of life reform or Lebens reform. It argues that the underlying thread in Semple’s “life reform” is a non-conformist, anticlerical religious individualism which incorporated Transcendentalism with a Tolstoyan and Gandhian pacifism. A case study of Semple’s career in dialogue with his English and continental interlocutors demonstrates the value of empirically based transnational enquiry at the level of individuals and networks for understanding the varied inflections of“life reform”, particularly the religious roots of the phenomenon. It also contributes to the historiography of important currents in “alternative religion” which fed the post-world war-two “new age”, “eco” and commune movements.
|Title of host publication||Translocal Lives and Religion|
|Subtitle of host publication||Connections Between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World|
|Editors||Philippe Bornet, Gwilym Beckerlegge |
|Publication status||Published - 8 Feb 2021|
|Name||The Study of Religion in a Global Context|
- Dugald Semple