The New age

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  • The New Age
    • Growth of New Age
      • 'New Age' covers range of beliefs & activities
      • Heelas (2008) estimates about 2,000 activities & 146,000 practitioners in UK
        • Many being very loosely organised audience & client cults
        • Extremely diverse
      • Heelas (1996) argues there's 2 common themes that characterise new age
        • Self-spirituality
          • Turned away from traditional religions & instead look inside themselves to find spirituality
        • Detraditionalisation
          • Rejects spiritual authority traditional sources (e.g. priests), instead it values personal experiences
    • Postmodernity & New Age
      • Drane (1999) argues its appeal is part of a shift towards postmodern society
      • Loss of faith in claims of the truth if a feature of postmodern society
      • Science promised to bring progress to a better world but instead gave use war, genocide & global warming
        • As a result people have lost faith in experts & professionals
    • New Age & Modernity
      • Bruce argues the growth of new age is a feature of latest phase of modern society
        • Modern society values individualism which is a key principle of new age beliefs
        • Bruce notes new age beliefs are often softer versions of more demanding & self-disciplined traditional religions
      • Heelas (1996) sees new age & modernity linked in 4 ways
        • Source of Identity
        • Consumer Culture
        • Rapid Social Change
        • Decline of organised religion


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