I found this being used as a bookmark in the middle of an old biography of Orestes Brownson.
Though I don’t think he’d agree that his pursuit of religious truth was spurred by “[journeying] through incarnation after incarnation,” I think this passage would resonate for Brownson: “subtle questions become more persistent, the need for answers more intense, the illusions and contradictions of life more inescapable – thus, a seeker is born.”
This resonates with me because of my work on converts, of course, but it also led me to learn about a religion I’d never heard of. I suspect if we made a pie chart of the topics pursued by those who work on the history of religion in America, we’d have a few very big slices and then a whole lot of little slices. I’ve suspected the much about the people who are members of H-AmRel itself, and I’ve worried that we don’t attend to the little slices enough. Perhaps for every thing we read about Billy Graham or Jonathan Edwards, we should also read a bit about ECKANKAR?