The Visionary State: A Journey through California's Spiritual Landscape

By Erik Davis
Photographs by Michael Rauner

Chronicle Books, June 2006
80,000 words, 272 pages, 164 photographs, 9 5/8″ x 9 5/8″

‘California is famous for its diversity, its eccentricity, and its prophetic influence on popular culture. Since the 19th century, the Golden State has also been one of America’s most fertile climates for spiritual and religious movements. Beautifully weaving together text and image, The Visionary State is the first book to address the full story of “California consciousness.” Ranging from Yosemite to Esalen, from televangelism to Neopaganism, from Mormon pioneers to contemporary Kali worshippers, acclaimed culture critic Erik Davis weaves together the threads of California’s religious history into an enchanting and vivid tapestry. Michael Rauner’s haunting iconic photographs ground the book’s many stories in the sacred landscape and architecture of the Golden State. Together Davis and Rauner map the peaks and faultlines that characterize the place that is both the nexus and far frontier of American religion.’

(Note: An expanded version of one chapter from this book was published in the May 2005 issue of Arthur.)

Book reading
June 21
7:00 pm
1644 Haight Street, San Francisco

Gallery opening
June 22
5:30 – 7:30 pm
The Visionary State: Photographs by Michael Rauner
Scott Nichols Gallery
49 Geary Street, San Francisco
(Exhibition runs through August 5)

Severe discount via Amazon!!!:

Categories: Erik Davis, magick | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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