Description : This is the first comprehensive analysis of the belief structure and historical background of the New Age Movement. "New Age Religion" emerges as a thoroughly secularized form of western-esoteric traditions which can be traced back to the period of the Renaissance.
Description : New globalized religions take two forms. Unlike new religions such as Transcendental Meditation, the former Unification Church and The Family - which are just a few of the recent religions to form networks of essentially identical communities around the world - the New Age beliefs discussed in this volume have spread without the benefit of any organisation or unified culture, and their more diffuse nature resists easy categorisation. While some of the chapters in this publication consider aspects of the general nature of New Age religion - spiritual imperialism versus cultural diversity, the overlap of globalisation and westernisation, the sources of New Age revelation and whether another age will follow - the remaining chapters are case studies which examine particular New Age beliefs, including the healing movement, the spiritualization of money, and the UFO, Gnostic and goddess myths. The book will appeal not only to scholars of the history of religions and sociology of religion, but also to those with an interest in New Age religious beliefs.
Description : Mingling God and Mammon, piety and polemics, and prescriptions for this world and the next, modern Americans have created a culture of print that is vibrantly religious. From America’s beginnings, the printed word has played a central role in articulating, propagating, defending, critiquing, and sometimes attacking religious belief. In the last two centuries the United States has become both the leading producer and consumer of print and one of the most identifiably religious nations on earth. Print in every form has helped religious groups come to grips with modernity as they construct their identities. In turn, publishers have profited by swelling their lists with spiritual advice books and scriptures formatted so as to attract every conceivable niche market. Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America explores how a variety of print media—religious tracts, newsletters, cartoons, pamphlets, self-help books, mass-market paperbacks, and editions of the Bible from the King James Version to contemporary “Bible-zines”—have shaped and been shaped by experiences of faith since the Civil War. Edited by Charles L. Cohen and Paul S. Boyer, whose comprehensive historical essays provide a broad overview to the topic, this book is the first on the history of religious print culture in modern America and a well-timed entry into the increasingly prominent contemporary debate over the role of religion in American public life. Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Regional Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association
Description : New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements is the most extensive study to date of modern American alternative spiritual currents. Hugh B. Urban covers a range of emerging religions from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, including the Nation of Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, ISKCON, Wicca, the Church of Satan, Peoples Temple, and the Branch Davidians. This essential text engages students by addressing major theoretical and methodological issues in the study of new religions and is organized to guide students in their learning. Each chapter focuses on one important issue involving a particular faith group, providing readers with examples that illustrate larger issues in the study of religion and American culture. Urban addresses such questions as, Why has there been such a tremendous proliferation of new spiritual forms in the past 150 years, even as our society has become increasingly rational, scientific, technological, and secular? Why has the United States become the heartland for the explosion of new religious movements? How do we deal with complex legal debates, such as the use of peyote by the Native American Church or the practice of plural marriage by some Mormon communities? And how do we navigate issues of religious freedom and privacy in an age of religious violence, terrorism, and government surveillance?
Description : Religion and spirituality are being transformed in our late modern and secularising times. New forms of belief proliferate, often notable for not being limited to traditional systems of reference or expression. Increasingly, these new religions present worldviews which draw directly upon popular culture - or occulture - in fiction, film, art and the internet. Fantasy and Belief explores the context and implications of these types of beliefs through the example of the Otherkin community. The Otherkin are a loosely-affiliated group who believe themselves to be in some way more than just human, their non-humanity often rooted in the characters and narratives of popular fantasy and science fiction. Challenging much current sociological thinking about spirituality and consumption, Fantasy and Belief reveals how popular occulture operates to recycle, develop, and disseminate metaphysical ideas, and how the popular and the sacred are combining in new ways in today's world.
Description : John Newport delivers a comprehensive study of the impact of New Age beliefs on contemporary culture - and on Christianity itself - while also offering an effective, biblical antidote to today's worldview crisis. After first surveying the historical development of the New Age worldview, from ancient times through important tendencies in nineteenth-century America to recent Far Eastern influences, Newport explores in depth eleven key areas of the New Age worldview and contrasts each area of belief with the traditional biblical worldview.
Description : From Shirley MacLaine's spiritual biography Out on a Limb to the teenage witches in the film The Craft, New Age and Neopagan beliefs have made sensationalistic headlines. In the mid- to late 1990s, several important scholarly studies of the New Age and Neopagan movements were published, attesting to academic as well as popular recognition that these religions are a significant presence on the contemporary North American religious landscape. Self-help books by New Age channelers and psychics are a large and growing market; annual spending on channeling, self-help businesses, and alternative health care is at $10 to $14 billion; an estimated 12 million Americans are involved with New Age activities; and American Neopagans are estimated at around 200,000. New Age and Neopagan Religions in America introduces the beliefs and practices behind the public faces of these controversial movements, which have been growing steadily in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century America. What is the New Age movement, and how is it different from and similar to Neopaganism in its underlying beliefs and still-evolving practices? Where did these decentralized and eclectic movements come from, and why have they grown and flourished at this point in American religious history? What is the relationship between the New Age and Neopaganism and other religions in America, particularly Christianity, which is often construed as antagonistic to them? Drawing on historical and ethnographic accounts, Sarah Pike explores these questions and offers a sympathetic yet critical treatment of religious practices often marginalized yet soaring in popularity. The book provides a general introduction to the varieties of New Age and Neopagan religions in the United States today as well as an account of their nineteenth-century roots and emergence from the 1960s counterculture. Covering such topics as healing, gender and sexuality, millennialism, and ritual experience, it also furnishes a rich description and analysis of the spiritual worlds and social networks created by participants.
Description : The "Handbook of New Age" is a comprehensive survey of alternative spiritualities: their history, their global impact, their cultural influence and how they are understood by scholars. Chapters by many of the leading scholars of the movement give the latest analysis of contemporary spiritual trends, and present up-to-date observations of the interaction between the New Age movement and many different fields of knowledge and research.
Description : Since the end of state repression against religion, two major processes have taken place in the formerly socialist countries: historically dominant churches strive to reassert their position in society, while new religious groups and ideas from various parts of the world are proliferating. This generates pluralism of religious communities and individual religious attitudes. Religious Diversity in Post-Soviet Society presents the first collection of ethnographies of this new religious diversity for Lithuania, a country that has a long history of a dominant Catholic Church. The authors reveal how Catholicism has become increasingly diversified and other religions (Charismatic Protestantism, Baltic Paganism, Eastern religions and other alternative spiritualities) are claiming their space in the religious field.