Christopher W. Chase
Iowa State University
Building a California Bildung : Theodore Roszak's and Alan Watts's Contributions to Pagan Hermeneutics
This presentation contends that California authors Theodore Roszak and Alan Watts provided crucial theoretical work that stimulated the development of an American 'Pagan Hermeneutic' as part of the larger emergence of Aquarian religion from the mid-part of the 20th century onward. Through challenging dogmatism in both institutional science and religion, they embraced a Romantic and Gnostic valorization of the 'imagination' as a visionary power and method of knowing. The presentation sets their work in the context of Hans-Georg Gadamer's concept of the '*Bildung*,' an expanding and playful education of human consciousness in relationship to the 'Other.'