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New Age
New Age
is a term applied to a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices that developed in Western nations during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the New Age
New Age
differ in their emphasis, largely as a result of its highly eclectic structure. Although analytically often considered to be religious, those involved in it typically prefer the designation of spiritual or Mind, Body, Spirit and rarely use the term "New Age" themselves. Many scholars of the subject refer to it as the New Age
New Age
movement, although others contest this term and suggest that it is better seen as a milieu or zeitgeist. As a form of Western esotericism, the New Age
New Age
drew heavily upon a number of older esoteric traditions, in particular those that emerged from the occultist current that developed in the eighteenth century. Such prominent occult influences include the work of Emanuel Swedenborg and Franz Mesmer, as well as the ideas of Spiritualism, New Thought, and Theosophy. A number of mid-twentieth century influences, such as the UFO religions of the 1950s, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and the Human Potential Movement, also exerted a strong influence on the early development of the New Age. The exact origins of the phenomenon remain contested, but there is general agreement that it developed in the 1970s, at which time it was centred largely in the United Kingdom. It expanded and grew largely in the 1980s and 1990s, in particular within the United States. By the start of the 21st century, the term "New Age" was increasingly rejected within this milieu, with some scholars arguing that the New Age
New Age
phenomenon had ended. Despite its highly eclectic nature, a number of beliefs commonly found within the New Age
New Age
have been identified. Theologically, the New Age typically adopts a belief in a holistic form of divinity that imbues all of the universe, including human beings themselves. There is thus a strong emphasis on the spiritual authority of the self. This is accompanied by a common belief in a wide variety of semi-divine non-human entities, such as angels and masters, with whom humans can communicate, particularly through the form of channeling. Typically viewing human history as being divided into a series of distinct ages, a common New Age
New Age
belief is that whereas once humanity lived in an age of great technological advancement and spiritual wisdom, it has entered a period of spiritual degeneracy, which will be remedied through the establishment of a coming Age of Aquarius, from which the milieu gets its name. There is also a strong focus on healing, particularly using forms of alternative medicine, and an emphasis on a New Age
New Age
"science" that seeks to unite science and spirituality. Centred primarily in Western countries, those involved in the New Age have been primarily from middle and upper-middle-class backgrounds. The degree to which New Agers are involved in the milieu varied considerably, from those who adopted a number of New Age
New Age
ideas and practices to those who fully embraced and dedicated their lives to it. The New Age
The New Age
has generated criticism from established Christian organisations as well as modern Pagan and indigenous communities. From the 1990s onward, the New Age
New Age
became the subject of research by academic scholars of religious studies.

Contents

1 Definitions

1.1 Religion, spirituality, and esotericism 1.2 Terminology

2 History

2.1 Antecedents 2.2 Emergence and development: c. 1970–2000 2.3 Decline or transformation?: 1990–present

3 Beliefs and practices

3.1 Eclecticism
Eclecticism
and self-spirituality 3.2 Theology, cosmogony, and cosmology 3.3 Spirit
Spirit
and channeling 3.4 Astrological cycles and the Age of Aquarius 3.5 Healing and alternative medicine 3.6 " New Age
New Age
science" 3.7 Ethics
Ethics
and afterlife

4 Demographics

4.1 Social communities

5 Commercial aspects

5.1 Fairs and festivals 5.2 Approaches to financial prosperity and business 5.3 Music

6 Politics

6.1 Ideas 6.2 Groups 6.3 In the 21st century

7 Reception

7.1 Popular media 7.2 Academia 7.3 Christian perspectives 7.4 Contemporary Pagan perspectives 7.5 Non-Western and indigenous responses 7.6 Political writers and activists

8 See also 9 References

9.1 Footnotes 9.2 Sources

10 Further reading 11 External links

Definitions[edit]

"One of the few things on which all scholars agree concerning New Age is that it is difficult to define. Often, the definition given actually reflects the background of the scholar giving the definition. Thus, the New Ager views New Age
New Age
as a revolutionary period of history dictated by the stars; the Christian apologist has often defined new age as a cult; the historian of ideas understands it as a manifestation of the perennial tradition; the philosopher sees New Age as a monistic or holistic worldview; the sociologist describes New Age as a new religious movement (NRM); while the psychologist describes it as a form of narcissism."

— Scholar of religion Daren Kemp, 2004.[1]

The New Age
The New Age
phenomenon has proved difficult to define,[2] with much scholarly disagreement as to its scope.[3] The scholars Steven J. Sutcliffe and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus have even suggested that it remains "among the most disputed of categories in the study of religion".[4] The scholar of religion Paul Heelas characterised the New Age
New Age
as "...an eclectic hotch-potch of beliefs, practices, and ways of life" that can be identified as a singular phenomenon through their use of "...the same (or very similar) lingua franca to do with the human (and planetary) condition and how it can be transformed."[5] Similarly, the historian of religion Olav Hammer termed it "a common denominator for a variety of quite divergent contemporary popular practices and beliefs" that have emerged since the late 1970s and are "largely united by historical links, a shared discourse and an air de famille".[6] According to Hammer, this New Age
New Age
was a "fluid and fuzzy cultic milieu".[7] The sociologist of religion Michael York described the New Age
New Age
as "...an umbrella term that includes a great variety of groups and identities" that are united by their "...expectation of a major and universal change being primarily founded on the individual and collective development of human potential."[8] The scholar of religion Wouter Hanegraaff
Wouter Hanegraaff
adopted a different approach by asserting that "New Age" was "a label attached indiscriminately to whatever seems to fit it" and that as a result it "means very different things to different people".[9] He thus argued against the idea that the New Age
New Age
could be considered "a unified ideology or Weltanschauung",[10] although he believed that it could be considered a "more of less unified "movement"".[11] Conversely, various other scholars have suggested that the New Age
New Age
is insufficiently homogenous to be regarded as a singular movement.[12] As a replacement term, the sociologist of religion Steven Bruce suggested that New Age
New Age
was better seen as a milieu,[13] while scholar of religion George D. Chryssides suggested that it could be understood as "a counter-cultural Zeitgeist".[14] There is no central authority within the New Age
New Age
phenomenon that can determine what counts as New Age
New Age
and what does not.[15] Many of those groups and individuals who could analytically be categorised as part of the New Age
New Age
reject the term "New Age" in reference to themselves.[16] Some even express active hostility to the term.[17] Rather than terming themselves "New Agers", those involved in this milieu commonly describe themselves as spiritual "seekers",[18] and some self-identify as a member of a different religious group, such as Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism.[19] In 2003 Sutcliffe observed that the use of the term "New Age" was "optional, episodic and declining overall", adding that among the very few individuals who did use it, they usually did so with qualification, for instance by placing it in inverted commas.[20] Other academics, such as Sara MacKian, have argued that the sheer diversity of the New Age
New Age
renders the term too problematic for scholars to use.[21] MacKian proposed "everyday spirituality" as an alternate term.[22] While acknowledging that "New Age" was a problematic term, the scholar of religion James R. Lewis stated that it remained a useful etic category for scholars to use because, "There exists no comparable term which covers all aspects of the movement."[23] Similarly, Chryssides argued that the fact that "New Age" is a "theoretical concept" does not "undermine its usefulness or employability"; he drew comparisons with "Hinduism", a similar "western etic piece of vocabulary" that scholars of religion used despite its problems.[24] Religion, spirituality, and esotericism[edit] In discussing the New Age, academics have varyingly referred to "New Age spirituality" and " New Age
New Age
religion".[1] Those involved in the New Age rarely consider it to be "religion"—negatively associating that term solely with organized religion—and instead describe their practices as "spirituality".[25] Religious studies
Religious studies
scholars, however, have repeatedly referred to the New Age
New Age
milieu as a "religion".[26] York described the New Age
New Age
as a new religious movement (NRM).[27] Conversely, both Heelas and Sutcliffe rejected this categorisation;[28] Heelas believed that while elements of the New Age represented NRMs, this did not apply to every New Age
New Age
group.[29] Similarly, Chryssides stated that the New Age
New Age
could not be seen as "a religion" in itself.[30]

" The New Age
The New Age
movement is the cultic milieu having become conscious of itself, in the later 1970s, as constituting a more or less unified "movement". All manifestations of this movement are characterized by a popular western culture criticism expressed in terms of a secularized esotericism."

— Scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff, 1996.[11]

The New Age
The New Age
is also a form of Western esotericism.[31] Hanegraaff regarded the New Age
New Age
as a form of "popular culture criticism", in that it represented a reaction against the dominant Western values of Judeo-Christian religion and rationalism,[32] adding that "New Age religion formulates such criticism not at random, but falls back on" the ideas of earlier Western esoteric groups.[10] The New Age
The New Age
has also been identified by various scholars of religion as part of the cultic milieu.[33] This concept, developed by the sociologist Colin Campbell, refers to a social network of marginalised ideas. Through their shared marginalisation within a given society, these disparate ideas interact and create new syntheses.[34] Hammer identified much of the New Age
New Age
as corresponding to the concept of "folk religions" in that it seeks to deal with existential questions regarding subjects like death and disease in "an unsystematic fashion, often through a process of bricolage from already available narratives and rituals".[6] York also heuristically divides the New Age
New Age
into three broad trends. The first, the social camp, represents groups that primarily seek to bring about social change, while the second, the occult camp, instead focus on contact with spirit entities and channeling. York's third group, the spiritual camp, represents a middle ground between these two camps that focuses largely on individual development.[35] Terminology[edit] The term new age, along with related terms like new era and new world, long predate the emergence of the New Age
New Age
movement, and have widely been used to assert that a better way of life for humanity is dawning.[36] It occurs commonly, for instance, in political contexts; the Great Seal of the United States, designed in 1782, proclaims a "new order of ages", while in the 1980s the Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev proclaimed that "all mankind is entering a new age".[36] The term has also appeared within Western esoteric schools of thought, having a scattered use from the mid-nineteenth century onward.[37] In 1864 the American Swedenborgian
Swedenborgian
Warren Felt Evans published The New Age and its Message, while in 1907 Alfred Orage and Holbrook Jackson began editing a weekly journal of Christian liberalism and socialism titled The New Age.[38] The concept of a coming "new age" that would be inaugurated by the return to Earth of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
was a theme in the poetry of Wellesley Tudor Pole and Johanna Brandt,[39] and then also appeared in the work of the American Theosophist Alice Bailey, who used the term prominently in such titles as Disciplineship in the New Age
New Age
(1944) and Education in the New Age
New Age
(1954).[39] Between the 1930s and 1960s a small number of groups and individuals became preoccupied with the concept of a coming "New Age" and prominently used the term accordingly.[40] The term had thus become a recurring motif in the esoteric spirituality milieu.[41] Sutcliffe therefore expressed the view that while the term "New Age" had originally been an "apocalyptic emblem", it would only be later that it became "a tag or codeword for a 'spiritual' idiom".[42] History[edit] Antecedents[edit]

Prominent esoteric thinkers who influenced the New Age
New Age
include Helena Blavatsky (left) and Carl Jung
Carl Jung
(right)

According to scholar Nevill Drury, the New Age
New Age
has a "tangible history",[43] although Hanegraaff expressed the view that most New Agers were "surprisingly ignorant about the actual historical roots of their beliefs".[44] Similarly, Hammer thought that "source amnesia" was a "building block of a New Age
New Age
worldview", with New Agers typically adopting ideas with no awareness of where those ideas originated.[45] As a form of Western esotericism,[46] the New Age
New Age
has antecedents that stretch back to southern Europe in Late Antiquity.[47] Following the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
in 18th century Europe, new esoteric ideas developed in response to the development of scientific rationality. Scholars call this new esoteric trend occultism, and this occultism was a key factor in the development of the worldview from which the New Age
New Age
emerged.[48] One of the earliest influences on the New Age
New Age
was the Swedish 18th century Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, who professed the ability to communicate with angels, demons, and spirits. Swedenborg's attempt to unite science and religion and his prediction of a coming era in particular have been cited as ways that he prefigured the New Age.[49] Another early influence was the late 17th and early 18th century German physician and hypnotist Franz Mesmer, who claimed the existence of a force known as "animal magnetism" running through the human body.[50] The establishment of Spiritualism, an occult religion influenced by both Swedenborgianism and Mesmerism, in the U.S. during the 1840s has also been identified as a precursor to the New Age, in particular through its rejection of established Christianity, its claims to representing a scientific approach to religion, and its emphasis on channeling spirit entities.[51]

"Most of the beliefs which characterise the New Age
New Age
were already present by the end of the 19th century, even to such an extent that one may legitimately wonder whether the New Age
New Age
brings anything new at all."

— Historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff, 1996.[52]

A further major influence on the New Age
New Age
was the Theosophical Society, an occult group co-founded by the Russian Helena Blavatsky
Helena Blavatsky
in the late 19th century. In her books Isis Unveiled
Isis Unveiled
(1877) and The Secret Doctrine (1888), Blavatsky claimed that her Society was conveying the essence of all world religions, and it thus emphasized a focus on comparative religion.[53] Serving as a partial bridge between Theosophical ideas and those of the New Age
New Age
was the American esotericist Edgar Cayce, who founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment.[54] Another influence was New Thought, which developed in late nineteenth century New England
New England
as a Christian-oriented healing movement before spreading throughout the United States.[55] Another prominent influence was the psychologist Carl Jung.[56] Drury also identified as an important influence upon the New Age
New Age
the Indian Swami Vivekananda, an adherent of the philosophy of Vedanta
Vedanta
who first brought Hinduism
Hinduism
to the West in the late 19th century.[57] Hanegraaff believed that the New Age's direct antecedents could be found in the UFO religions of the 1950s, which he termed a "proto-New Age movement".[58] Many of these new religious movements had strong apocalyptic beliefs regarding a coming new age, which they typically asserted would be brought about by contact with extraterrestrials.[59] Examples of such groups included the Aetherius Society, founded in the UK in 1955, and the Heralds of the New Age, established in New Zealand in 1956.[60]

This barrel house was the first dwelling constructed at the Findhorn Ecovillage.

From a historical perspective, the New Age
New Age
phenomenon is rooted in the counterculture of the 1960s.[61] Although not common throughout the counterculture, usage of the terms "New Age" and "Age of Aquarius" – used in reference to a coming era – were found within it,[62] for instance appearing on adverts for the Woodstock
Woodstock
festival of 1969,[63] and in the lyrics of "Aquarius", the opening song of the 1967 musical Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.[64] This decade also witnessed the emergence of a variety of new religious movements and newly established religions in the United States, creating a spiritual milieu from which the New Age
New Age
drew upon; these included the San Francisco Zen
Zen
Center, Transcendental Meditation, Soka Gakkai, the Inner Peace Movement, the Church of All Worlds, and the Church of Satan.[65] Although there had been an established interest in Asian religious ideas in the U.S. from at least the eighteenth-century,[66] many of these new developments were variants of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufism, which had been imported to the West from Asia following the U.S. government's decision to rescind the Asian Exclusion Act
Asian Exclusion Act
in 1965.[67] In 1962 the Esalen Institute
Esalen Institute
was established in Big Sur, California.[68] Esalen and similar personal growth centers had developed links to humanistic psychology, and from this, the human potential movement emerged, strongly influenced the New Age.[69] In Britain, a number of small religious groups that came to be identified as the "light" movement had begun declaring the existence of a coming new age, influenced strongly by the Theosophical ideas of Blavatsky and Bailey.[70] The most prominent of these groups was the Findhorn
Findhorn
Foundation, which founded the Findhorn Ecovillage
Findhorn Ecovillage
in the Scottish area of Findhorn, Moray
Moray
in 1962.[71] Although its founders were from an older generation, Findhorn
Findhorn
attracted increasing numbers of countercultural baby boomers during the 1960s, to the extent that its population had grown sixfold to circa 120 residents by 1972.[72] In October 1965, the founder of Findhorn, Peter Caddy, attended a meeting of various prominent figures within Britain's esoteric milieu; titled "The Significance of the Group in the New Age", it was held at Attingham Park
Attingham Park
over the course of a weekend.[73] All of these groups created the backdrop from which the New Age movement emerged. As James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton
J. Gordon Melton
point out, the New Age
New Age
phenomenon represents "a synthesis of many different preexisting movements and strands of thought".[74] Nevertheless, York asserted that while the New Age
New Age
bore many similarities with both earlier forms of Western esotericism
Western esotericism
and Asian religion, it remained "distinct from its predecessors in its own self-consciousness as a new way of thinking".[75] Emergence and development: c. 1970–2000[edit]

"The late 1950s saw the first stirrings within the cultic milieu of a belief in a coming new age. A variety of small movements arose, revolving around revealed messages from beings in space and presenting a synthesis of post-Theosophical and other esoteric doctrines. These movements might have remained marginal, had it not been for the explosion of the counterculture in the 1960s and early 1970s. Various historical threads... began to converge: nineteenth century doctrinal elements such as Theosophy
Theosophy
and post-Theosophical esotericism as well as harmonious or positive thinking were now eclectically combined with... religious psychologies: transpersonal psychology, Jungianism and a variety of Eastern teachings. It became perfectly feasible for the same individuals to consult the I Ching, practice Jungian astrology, read Abraham Maslow's writings on peak experiences, etc. The reason for the ready incorporation of such disparate sources was a similar goal of exploring an individualized and largely non-Christian religiosity."

— Scholar of esotericism Olav Hammer, 2001.[76]

By the early 1970s, use of the term "New Age" was increasingly common within the cultic milieu.[76] This was because—according to Sutcliffe—the "emblem" of the "New Age" had been passed from the "subcultural pioneers" in groups like Findhorn
Findhorn
to the wider array of "countercultural baby boomers" between circa 1967 and 1974. He noted that as this happened, the meaning of the term "New Age" changed; whereas it had once referred specifically to a coming era, at this point it came to be used in a wider sense to refer to a variety of spiritual activities and practices.[77] In the latter part of the 1970s, the New Age
New Age
expanded to cover a wide variety of alternative spiritual and religious beliefs and practices, not all of which explicitly held to the belief in the Age of Aquarius, but were nevertheless widely recognised as broadly similar in their search for "alternatives" to mainstream society.[78] In doing so, the "New Age" became a banner under which to bring together the wider "cultic milieu" of American society.[46] The counterculture of the 1960s had rapidly declined by the start of the 1970s, in large part due to the collapse of the commune movement,[79] but it would be many former members of the counter-culture and hippie subculture who subsequently became early adherents of the New Age
New Age
movement.[74] The exact origins of the New Age movement remain an issue of debate; Melton asserted that it emerged in the early 1970s,[80] whereas Hanegraaff instead traced its emergence to the latter 1970s, adding that it then entered its full development in the 1980s.[81] This early form of the movement was based largely in Britain and exhibited a strong influence from Theosophy
Theosophy
and Anthroposophy.[78] Hanegraaff termed this early core of the movement the New Age
New Age
sensu stricto, or " New Age
New Age
in the strict sense".[82] Hanegraaff terms the broader development the New Age
New Age
sensu lato, or " New Age
New Age
in the wider sense".[82] Stores that came to be known as "New Age shops" opened up, selling related books, magazines, jewellery, and crystals, and they were typified by the playing of New Age music
New Age music
and the smell of incense.[83]This probably influenced several thousand small metaphysical book- and gift-stores that increasingly defined themselves as " New Age
New Age
bookstores",[84] while New Age
New Age
titles came to be increasingly available from mainstream bookstores and then websites like Amazon.com.[85] Not everyone who came to be associated with the New Age
New Age
phenomenon openly embraced the term "New Age", although it was popularised in books like David Spangler's 1977 work Revelation: The Birth of a New Age and Mark Satin's 1979 book New Age
New Age
Politics: Healing Self and Society.[86] Marilyn Ferguson's 1982 book The Aquarian Conspiracy
The Aquarian Conspiracy
has also been regarded as a landmark work in the development of the New Age, promoting the idea that a new era was emerging.[87] Other terms that were employed synonymously with "New Age" in this milieu included "Green", "Holistic", "Alternative", and "Spiritual".[88] 1971 witnessed the foundation of est by Werner H. Erhard, a transformational training course that became a prominent part of the early movement.[89] Melton suggested that the 1970s witnessed the growth of a relationship between the New Age
New Age
movement and the older New Thought
New Thought
movement, as evidenced by the widespread use of Helen Schucman's A Course in Miracles
A Course in Miracles
(1975), New Age
New Age
music, and crystal healing in New Thought
New Thought
churches.[90] Some figures in the New Thought movement were sceptical, challenging the compatibility of New Age
New Age
and New Thought
New Thought
perspectives.[91] During these decades, Findhorn
Findhorn
had become a site of pilgrimage for many New Agers, and greatly expanded in size as people joined the community, with workshops and conferences being held there that brought together New Age
New Age
thinkers from across the world.[92]

New Age
New Age
shrine in Glastonbury, England

Several key events occurred, which raised public awareness of the New Age subculture: publication of Linda Goodman's best-selling astrology books Sun Signs (1968) and Love
Love
Signs (1978); the release of Shirley MacLaine's book Out on a Limb (1983), later adapted into a television mini-series with the same name (1987); and the "Harmonic Convergence" planetary alignment on August 16 and 17, 1987,[93] organized by José Argüelles in Sedona, Arizona. The Convergence attracted more people to the movement than any other single event.[94] Heelas suggested that the movement was influenced by the "enterprise culture" encouraged by the U.S. and U.K. governments during the 1980s onward, with its emphasis on initiative and self-reliance resonating with any New Age ideas.[95] The claims of channelers Jane Roberts
Jane Roberts
(Seth Material), Helen Schucman (A Course in Miracles), J. Z. Knight (Ramtha), Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God) (note that Walsch denies being a "channeler" and his books make it obvious that he is not one, though the text emerged through a dialogue with a deeper part of himself in a process comparable to automatic writing) contributed to the movement's growth.[96][97] The first significant exponent of the New Age
New Age
movement in the U.S. has been cited as Ram Dass.[98] Core works in the propagating New Age
New Age
ideas included Jane Roberts's Seth series, published from 1972 onward,[85] Helen Schucman's 1975 publication A Course in Miracles,[99] and James Redfield's 1993 work The Celestine Prophecy.[100] A variety of these books were best sellers, with the Seth book series for instance selling over a million copies.[85] Supplementing these books were videos, audiotapes, compact discs and websites.[101] The development of the internet in particular further popularized New Age
New Age
ideas and made them more widely accessible.[102] New Age
New Age
ideas influenced the development of rave culture in the late 1980s and 1990s.[103] In Britain during the 1980s, the term "New Age Travellers" came into use,[104] although York characterised this term as "a misnomer created by the media".[105] These New Age
New Age
Travellers had little to do with the New Age
New Age
as the term was used more widely,[106] with scholar of religion Daren Kemp observing that "New Age spirituality is not an essential part of New Age
New Age
Traveller culture, although there are similarities between the two worldviews".[107] The term "New Age" came to be used increasingly widely by the popular media in the 1990s.[104] Decline or transformation?: 1990–present[edit] By the late 1980s, some publishers dropped the term "New Age" as a marketing device.[108] In 1994, the scholar of religion Gordon J. Melton presented a conference paper in which he argued that, given that he knew of nobody describing their practices as "New Age" anymore, the New Age
New Age
had died.[109] In 2001, Hammer observed that the term "New Age" had increasingly been rejected as either pejorative or meaningless by individuals within the Western cultic milieu.[110] He also noted that within this milieu it was not being replaced by any alternative, and that as such a sense of collective identity was being lost.[110] Other scholars disagreed with Melton's idea; in 2004 Daren Kemp stated that " New Age
New Age
is still very much alive".[111] Hammer himself stated that "the New Age
New Age
movement may be on the wane, but the wider New Age religiosity... shows no sign of disappearing".[112] MacKian suggested that the New Age
New Age
"movement" had been replaced by a wider "New Age sentiment" which had come to pervade "the socio-cultural landscape" of Western countries.[113] Its diffusion into the mainstream may have been influenced by the adoption of New Age
New Age
concepts by high profile figures: U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan
consulted an astrologer, British Princess Diana visited spirit mediums, and Norwegian Princess Märtha Louise established a school devoted to communicating with angels.[114] New Age
New Age
shops continued to operate, although many have been remarketed as "Mind, Body, Spirit".[115] In 2015, the scholar of religion Hugh Urban argued that New Age spirituality is growing in the United States and can be expected to become more visible: "According to many recent surveys of religious affiliation, the 'spiritual but not religious' category is one of the fastest-growing trends in American culture, so the New Age
New Age
attitude of spiritual individualism and eclecticism may well be an increasingly visible one in the decades to come".[116] Beliefs and practices[edit] Main articles: Spiritual but not religious and List of New Age
New Age
topics Eclecticism
Eclecticism
and self-spirituality[edit] The New Age
The New Age
places strong emphasis on the idea that the individual and their own experiences are the primary source of authority on spiritual matters.[117] It exhibits what Heelas termed "unmediated individualism",[118] and reflects a world-view that is "radically democratic".[119] It places an emphasis on the freedom and autonomy of the individual.[120] This emphasis has led to ethical disagreements; some New Agers believe helping others is beneficial, although another view is that doing so encourages dependency and conflicts with a reliance on the self.[121] Nevertheless, within the New Age, there are differences in the role accorded to voices of authority outside of the self.[122] Hammer stated that "a belief in the existence of a core or true Self" is a "recurring theme" in New Age
New Age
texts.[123] The concept of "personal growth" is also greatly emphasised among New Agers,[124] while Heelas noted that "for participants spirituality is life-itself".[125] New Age
New Age
religiosity is typified by its eclecticism.[126] Generally believing that there is no one true way to pursue spirituality,[127] New Agers develop their own worldview "by combining bits and pieces to form their own individual mix",[128] seeking what Drury called "a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas".[129] The anthropologist David J. Hess noted that in his experience, a common attitude among New Agers was that "any alternative spiritual path is good because it is spiritual and alternative".[130] This approach that has generated a common jibe that New Age
New Age
represents "supermarket spirituality".[131] York suggested that this eclecticism stemmed from the New Age's origins within late modern capitalism, with New Agers subscribing to a belief in a free market of spiritual ideas as a parallel to a free market in economics.[132] As part of its eclecticism, the New Age
New Age
draws ideas from many different cultural and spiritual traditions from across the world, often legitimising this approach by reference to "a very vague claim" about underlying global unity.[133] Certain societies are more usually chosen over others;[134] examples include the ancient Celts, ancient Egyptians, the Essenes, Atlanteans, and ancient extra-terrestrials.[135] As noted by Hammer: "to put it bluntly, no significant spokespersons within the New Age
New Age
community claim to represent ancient Albanian wisdom, simply because beliefs regarding ancient Albanians are not part of our cultural stereotypes".[136] According to Hess, these ancient or foreign societies represent an exotic "Other" for New Agers, who are predominantly white Westerners.[137] Theology, cosmogony, and cosmology[edit]

New Age
New Age
meditation group at the Snoqualmie Moondance festival, 1992

A belief in divinity is integral to New Age
New Age
ideas, although understandings of this divinity vary.[138] New Age
New Age
theology exhibits an inclusive and universalistic approach that accepts all personal perspectives on the divine as equally valid.[139] This intentional vagueness as to the nature of divinity also reflects the New Age
New Age
idea that divinity cannot be comprehended by the human mind or language.[140] New Age
New Age
literature nevertheless displays recurring traits in its depiction of the divine: the first is the idea that it is holistic, thus frequently being described with such terms as an "Ocean of Oneness", "Infinite Spirit", "Primal Stream", "One Essence", and "Universal Principle".[140] A second trait is the characterisation of divinity as "Mind", "Consciousness", and "Intelligence",[141] while a third is the description of divinity as a form of "energy".[142] A fourth trait is the characterisation of divinity as a "life force", the essence of which is creativity, while a fifth is the concept that divinity consists of love.[143] Most New Age
New Age
groups believe in an Ultimate Source from which all things originate, which is usually conflated with the divine.[144] Various creation myths have been articulated in New Age
New Age
publications outlining how this Ultimate Source created the universe and everything in it.[145] In contrast, some New Agers emphasise the idea of a universal inter-relatedness that is not always emanating from a single source.[146] The New Age
The New Age
worldview emphasises holism and the idea that everything in existence is intricately connected as part of a single whole,[147] in doing so rejecting both the dualism of Judeo-Christian thought and the reductionism of Cartesian science.[148] A number of New Agers have linked this holistic interpretation of the universe to the Gaia hypothesis
Gaia hypothesis
of James Lovelock.[149] The idea of holistic divinity results in a common New Age
New Age
belief that humans themselves are divine in essence, a concept described using such terms as "droplet of divinity", "inner Godhead", and "divine self".[150] Influenced by Theosophical and Anthroposophical ideas regarding 'subtle bodies',[151] a common New Age
New Age
idea holds to the existence of a "Higher Self" that is a part of the human but connects with the divine essence of the universe, and which can advise the human mind through intuition.[152] Cosmogonical creation stories are common in New Age
New Age
sources,[153] with these accounts reflecting the movement's holistic framework by describing an original, primal oneness from which all things in the universe emanated.[154] An additional common theme is that human souls – once living in a spiritual world – then descended into a world of matter.[155] The New Age
The New Age
movement typically views the material universe as a meaningful illusion, which humans should try to use constructively rather than focus on escaping into other spiritual realms.[156] This physical world is hence seen as "a domain for learning and growth" after which the human soul might pass on to higher levels of existence.[157] There is thus a widespread belief that reality is engaged in an ongoing process of evolution; rather than Darwinian evolution, this is typically seen as either a teleological evolution which assumes a process headed to a specific goal, or an open-ended, creative evolution.[158] Spirit
Spirit
and channeling[edit]

"In the flood of channeled material which has been published or delivered to "live" audiences in the last two decades, there is much indeed that is trivial, contradictory, and confusing. The authors of much of this material make claims that, while not necessarily untrue or fraudulent, are difficult or impossible for the reader to verify. A number of other channeled documents address issues more immediately relevant to the human condition. The best of these writings are not only coherent and plausible, but eloquently persuasive and sometimes disarmingly moving."

— Academic Suzanne Riordan, 1992.[159]

MacKian argued that a central, but often overlooked, element of the phenomenon was an emphasis on "spirit", and in particular participants' desire for a relationship with spirit.[160] Many practitioners in her UK-focused study described themselves as "workers for spirit", expressing the desire to help people learn about spirit.[161] They understood various material signs as marking the presence of spirit, for instance the unexpected appearance of a feather.[162] New Agers often call upon this spirit to assist them in everyday situations, for instance to ease the traffic flow on their way to work.[163] New Age
New Age
literature often refers to benevolent non-human spirit-beings who are interested in humanity's spiritual development; these are variously referred to as angels, guardian angels, personal guides, masters, teachers, and contacts.[164] New Age
New Age
angelology is nevertheless unsystematic, reflecting the idiosyncrasies of individual authors.[165] The figure of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
is often mentioned within New Age literature as a mediating principle between divinity and humanity, as well as an exemplar of a spiritually advanced human being.[166] Although not present in every New Age
New Age
group,[167] a core belief within the milieu is in channeling.[168] This is the idea that humans beings, sometimes (although not always) in a state of trance, can act "as a channel of information from sources other than their normal selves".[169] These sources are varyingly described as being God, gods and goddesses, ascended masters, spirit guides, extraterrestrials, angels, devas, historical figures, the collective unconscious, elementals, or nature spirits.[169] Hanegraaff described channeling as a form of "articulated revelation",[170] and identified four forms: trance channeling, automatisms, clairaudient channeling, and open channeling.[171] Prominent examples of New Age
New Age
channeling include Jane Roberts' claims that she was contacted by an entity called Seth, and Helen Schucman's claims to have channeled Jesus Christ.[172] The academic Suzanne Riordan examined a variety of these New Age
New Age
channeled messages, noting that they typically "echoed each other in tone and content", offering an analysis of the human condition and giving instructions or advice for how humanity can discover its true destiny.[173] For many New Agers, these channeled messages rival the scriptures of the main world religions as sources of spiritual authority,[174] although often New Agers describe historical religious revelations as forms of "channeling" as well, thus attempting to legitimate and authenticate their own contemporary practices.[175] Although the concept of channeling from discarnate spirit entities has links to Spiritualism and psychical research, the New Age
New Age
does not feature Spiritualism's emphasis on proving the existence of life after death, nor psychical research's focus of testing mediums for consistency.[176] Astrological cycles and the Age of Aquarius[edit] New Age
New Age
thought typically envisions the world as developing through cosmological cycles that can be identified astrologically.[177] It adopts this concept from Theosophy, although often presents it in a looser and more eclectic way than is found in Theosophical teaching.[178] New Age
New Age
literature often claims that humanity once lived in an age of spiritual wisdom.[179] In the writings of New Agers like Edgar Cayce, the ancient period of spiritual wisdom is associated with concepts of supremely-advanced societies living on lost continents such as Atlantis, Lemuria, and Mu, as well as the idea that ancient societies like those of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
were far more technologically advanced than modern scholarship accepts.[180] New Age literature often posits that the ancient period of spiritual wisdom gave way to an age of spiritual decline, sometimes termed the Age of Pisces.[179] Although characterised as being a negative period for humanity, New Age
New Age
literature views the Age of Pisces
Age of Pisces
as an important learning experience for the species.[181] Hanegraaff stated that New Age perceptions of history were "extremely sketchy" in their use of description,[181] reflecting little interest in historiography and conflating history with myth.[182] He also noted that they were highly ethnocentric in placing Western civilization at the centre of historical development.[178]

Astrological ideas hold a central place in the New Age

A common belief among the New Age
New Age
is that humanity has entered, or is coming to enter, a new period known as the Age of Aquarius,[183] which Melton has characterised as a " New Age
New Age
of love, joy, peace, abundance, and harmony[...] the Golden Age heretofore only dreamed about."[184] In accepting this belief in a coming new age, the milieu has been described as "highly positive, celebratory, [and] utopian",[185] and has also been cited as an apocalyptic movement.[186] Opinions about the nature of the coming Age of Aquarius differ among New Agers.[187] There are for instance differences in belief about its commencement; New Age
New Age
author David Spangler claimed that it began in 1967,[188] others placed its beginning with the Harmonic Convergence of 1987,[189] author José Argüelles
José Argüelles
predicted its start in 2012,[190] and some believe that it will not begin until several centuries into the third millennium.[191] There are also differences in how this new age is envisioned.[192] Those adhering to what Hanegraaff termed the "moderate" perspective believed that it would be marked by an improvement to current society, which affected both New Age
New Age
concerns—through the convergence of science and mysticism and the global embrace of alternative medicine—to more general concerns, including an end to violence, crime and war, a healthier environment, and international co-operation.[193] Other New Agers adopt a fully utopian vision, believing that the world will be wholly transformed into an "Age of Light", with humans evolving into totally spiritual beings and experiencing unlimited love, bliss, and happiness.[194] Rather than conceiving of the Age of Aquarius as an indefinite period, many believe that it would last for around two thousand years before being replaced by a further age.[195] There are various beliefs within the milieu as to how this new age will come about, but most emphasise the idea that it will be established through human agency; others assert that it will be established with the aid of non-human forces such as spirits or extra-terrestrials.[196] Ferguson for instance claimed that there was a vanguard of humans known as the "Aquarian conspiracy" who were helping to bring the Age of Aquarius forth through their actions.[197] Participants in the New Age
New Age
typically express the view that their own spiritual actions are helping to bring about the Age of Aquarius,[198] with writers like Ferguson and Argüelles presenting themselves as prophets ushering forth this future era.[199] Healing and alternative medicine[edit] Another recurring element of New Age
New Age
is an emphasis on healing and alternative medicine.[200][201] The general New Age
New Age
ethos is that health is the natural state for the human being and that illness is a disruption of that natural balance.[202] Hence, New Age
New Age
therapies seek to heal "illness" as a general concept that includes physical, mental, and spiritual aspects; in doing so it critiques mainstream Western medicine for simply attempting to cure disease, and thus has an affinity with most forms of traditional medicine.[203] Its focus of self-spirituality has led to the emphasis of self-healing,[204] although also present are ideas on healing both others and the Earth itself.[205]

Reiki
Reiki
is one of the alternative therapies commonly found in the New Age movement.

The healing elements of the movement are difficult to classify given that a variety of terms are used, with some New Age
New Age
authors using different terms to refer to the same trends, while others use the same term to refer to different things.[206] However, Hanegraaff developed a set of categories into which the forms of New Age
New Age
healing could be roughly categorised. The first of these was the Human Potential Movement, which argues that contemporary Western society suppresses much human potential, and accordingly professes to offer a path through which individuals can access those parts of themselves that they have alienated and suppressed, thus enabling them to reach their full potential and live a meaningful life.[207] Hanegraaff described transpersonal psychology as the "theoretical wing" of this Human Potential Movement; in contrast to other schools of psychological thought, transpersonal psychology takes religious and mystical experiences seriously by exploring the uses of altered states of consciousness.[208] Closely connected to this is the shamanic consciousness current, which argues that the shaman was a specialist in altered states of consciousness and seeks to adopt and imitate traditional shamanic techniques as a form of personal healing and growth.[209] Hanegraaff identified the second main healing current in the New Age movement as being holistic health. This emerged in the 1970s out of the free clinic movement of the 1960s, and has various connections with the Human Potential Movement.[210] It emphasises the idea that the human individual is a holistic, interdependent relationship between mind, body, and spirit, and that healing is a process in which an individual becomes whole by integrating with the powers of the universe.[211] A very wide array of methods are utilised within the holistic health movement, with some of the most common including acupuncture, reiki, biofeedback, chiropractic, yoga, kinesiology, homeopathy, aromatherapy iridology, massage and other forms of bodywork, meditation and visualisation, nutritional therapy, psychic healing, herbal medicine, healing using crystals, metals, music, chromotherapy, and reincarnation therapy.[212] The use of crystal healing has become a particularly prominent visual trope within the New Age;[213] this practice was not common in esotericism prior to their adoption in the New Age
New Age
milieu.[214] The mainstreaming of the Holistic Health movement in the UK is discussed by Maria Tighe. The inter-relation of holistic health with the New Age
New Age
movement is illustrated in Jenny Butler's ethnographic description of "Angel therapy" in Ireland.[201] " New Age
New Age
science"[edit]

" The New Age
The New Age
is essentially about the search for spiritual and philosophical perspectives that will help transform humanity and the world. New Agers are willing to absorb wisdom teachings wherever they can find them, whether from an Indian guru, a renegade Christian priest, an itinerant Buddhist monk, an experiential psychotherapist or a Native American shaman. They are eager to explore their own inner potential with a view to becoming part of a broader process of social transformation. Their journey is towards totality of being."

— New Ager Nevill Drury, 2004.[215]

According to Drury, the New Age
New Age
attempts to create "a worldview that includes both science and spirituality",[43] while Hess noted how New Agers have "a penchant for bringing together the technical and the spiritual, the scientific and the religious".[216] Although New Agers typically reject rationalism, the scientific method, and the academic establishment, they employ terminology and concepts borrowed from science and particularly from the New Physics.[217] Moreover, a number of prominent influences on New Age, such as David Bohm
David Bohm
and Ilya Prigogine, had backgrounds as professional scientists.[218] Hanegraaff identified " New Age
New Age
science" as a form of Naturphilosophie.[219] In this, the milieu is interested in developing unified world views to discover the nature of the divine and establish a scientific basis for religious belief.[218] Figures in the New Age
New Age
movement—most notably Fritjof Capra
Fritjof Capra
in his The Tao of Physics (1975)—have drawn parallels between theories in the New Physics and traditional forms of mysticism, thus arguing that ancient religious ideas are now being proven by contemporary science.[220] Many New Agers have adopted James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis
Gaia hypothesis
that the Earth acts akin to a single living organism, although have expanded this idea to include the idea that the Earth has consciousness and intelligence.[221] Despite New Agers' appeals to science, most of the academic and scientific establishments dismiss " New Age
New Age
science" as pseudo-science, or at best existing in part on the fringes of genuine scientific research.[222] This is an attitude also shared by many active in the field of parapsychology.[223] In turn, New Agers often accuse the scientific establishment of pursuing a dogmatic and outmoded approach to scientific enquiry,[224] believing that their own understandings of the universe will replace those of the academic establishment in a paradigm shift.[217] Ethics
Ethics
and afterlife[edit] There is no ethical cohesion within the New Age
New Age
phenomenon,[225] although Hanegraaff argued that the central ethical tenet of the New Age is to cultivate one's own divine potential.[226] Given that the movement's holistic interpretation of the universe prohibits a belief in a dualistic good and evil,[227] negative events that happen are interpreted not as the result of evil but as lessons designed to teach an individual and enable them to advance spiritually.[228] It rejects the Christian emphasis on sin and guilt, believing that these generate fear and thus negativity, which then hinder spiritual evolution.[229] It also typically criticises the blaming and judging of others for their actions, believing that if an individual adopts these negative attitudes it harms their own spiritual evolution.[230] Instead the movement emphasizes positive thinking, although beliefs regarding the power behind such thoughts vary within New Age
New Age
literature.[231] Common New Age
New Age
examples of how to generate such positive thinking include the repeated recitation of mantras and statements carrying positive messages,[232] and the visualisation of a white light.[233] According to Hanegraaff, the question of death and afterlife is not a "pressing problem requiring an answer" in the New Age.[234] A belief in reincarnation is very common, where it often viewed as being part of an individual's progressive spiritual evolution toward realisation of their own divinity.[235] In New Age
New Age
literature, the reality of reincarnation is usually treated as self-evident, with no explanation as to why practitioners embrace this afterlife belief over others,[236] although New Agers endorse it in the belief that it ensures cosmic justice.[237] Many New Agers believe in karma, treating it as a law of cause and effect that assures cosmic balance, although in some cases they stress that it is not a system that enforces punishment for past actions.[238] In much New Age
New Age
literature on reincarnation, it is claimed that part of the human soul, that which carries the personality, perishes with the death of the body, while the Higher Self – that which connects with divinity – survives in order to be reborn into another body.[239] It is believed that the Higher Self chooses the body and circumstances into which it will be born, in order to use it as a vessel through which to learn new lessons and thus advance its own spiritual evolution.[240] Prominent New Age
New Age
writers like Shakti Gawain and Louise Hay
Louise Hay
therefore express the view that humans are responsible for the events that happen to them during their life, an idea that many New Agers regard as empowering.[241] At times, past life regression are employed within the New Age
New Age
in order to reveal a Higher Soul's previous incarnations, usually with an explicit healing purpose.[242] Some practitioners espouse the idea of a "soul group" or "soul family", a group of connected souls who reincarnate together as family of friendship units.[243] Rather than reincarnation, another afterlife belief found among New Agers holds that an individual's soul returns to a "universal energy" on bodily death.[243] Demographics[edit]

By the early twenty-first century... [the New Age
New Age
phenomenon] has an almost entirely white, middle-class demography largely made up of professional, managerial, arts, and entrepreneurial occupations.

Religious studies
Religious studies
scholar Steven J. Sutcliffe.[244]

In the mid-1990s, the New Age
New Age
was found primarily in the United States and Canada, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.[245] The fact that most individuals engaging in New Age
New Age
activity do not describe themselves as "New Agers" renders it difficult to determine how many practitioners there are.[23] Heelas highlighted the range of attempts to establish the number of New Age
New Age
participants in the U.S. during this period, noting that estimates ranged from 20,000 to 6 million; he believed that the higher ranges of these estimates were greatly inflated by, for instance, an erroneous assumption that all Americans who believed in reincarnation were part of the movement.[246] He nevertheless suggested that over 10 million people in the U.S. had had some contact with New Age
New Age
practices or ideas.[247] In 2006, Heelas stated that New Age
New Age
practices had grown to such an extent that they were "increasingly rivalling the sway of Christianity in western settings".[248] Sociological investigation indicates that certain sectors of society are more likely to engage in New Age
New Age
practices than others.[249] The majority of participants are from the middle and upper-middle classes of Western society.[250] Sutcliffe noted that although most influential New Age
New Age
figureheads were male,[251] approximately two-thirds of its participants were female.[252] The movement is strongly gendered; sociologist Ciara O'Connor argues that it shows a tension between commodification and women's empowerment.[253] Sutcliffe described the "typical" participant in the New Age
New Age
milieu as being "a religious individualist, mixing and matching cultural resources in an animated spiritual quest".[18]

Stonehenge
Stonehenge
is a site visited by New Age
New Age
pilgrims, as seen in this midsummer rave

In the United States, the first people to embrace the New Age
New Age
belonged to the baby boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964.[254] Heelas added that within that broad demographic, the movement had nevertheless attracted a diverse clientele.[255] He typified the typical New Ager as someone who was well-educated yet disenchanted with mainstream society, thus arguing that the movement catered to those who believe that modernity is in crisis.[256] He suggested that the movement appealed to many former practitioners of the 1960s counter-culture because while they came to feel that they were unable to change society, they were nonetheless interested in changing the self.[257] He believed that many individuals had been "culturally primed for what the New Age
New Age
has to offer",[258] with the New Age attracting "expressive" people who were already comfortable with the ideals and outlooks of the movement's self-spirituality focus.[259] It could be particularly appealing because the New Age
New Age
suited the needs of the individual, whereas traditional religious options that are available primarily catered for the needs of a community.[260] He believed that although the adoption of New Age
New Age
beliefs and practices by some fitted the model of religious conversion,[261] others who adopted some of its practices could not easily be considered to have converted to the religion.[262] The degree to which individuals are involved in the New Age varies.[263] Heelas argued that those involved could be divided into three broad groups; the first comprised those who were completely dedicated to it and its ideals, often working in professions that furthered those goals. The second consisted of "serious part-timers" who worked in unrelated fields but who nevertheless spent much of their free time involved in movement activities. The third was that of "casual part-timers" who occasionally involved themselves in New Age activities but for whom the movement was not a central aspect of their life.[264] MacKian instead suggested that involvement could be seen as being layered like an onion; at the core are "consultative" practitioners who devote their life to New Age
New Age
practices, around that are "serious" practitioners who still invest considerable effort into New Age
New Age
activities, and on the periphery are "non-practitioner consumers", individuals affected by he general dissemination of New Age ideas but who do not devote themselves more fully to them.[265] Many New Age
New Age
practices have filtered into wider Western society, with a 2000 poll for instance revealing that 39% of the UK population had tried alternative therapies.[266] In 1995, Kyle stated that on the whole, New Agers in the United States preferred the values of the Democratic Party over those of the Republican Party. He added that most New Agers "soundly rejected" the agenda of former Republican President Ronald Reagan.[267] Social communities[edit] MacKian suggested that this phenomenon was "an inherently social mode of spirituality", one which cultivated a sense of belonging among its participants and encouraged relations both with other humans and with non-human, otherworldly spirit entities.[268] MacKian suggested that these communities "may look very different" from those of traditional religious groups.[269] Online connections were one of the ways that interested individuals met new contacts and established networks.[270] Commercial aspects[edit]

Isis, a New Age
New Age
shop named after the Ancient Egyptian goddess that is located in St Albans, southern England

Some New Agers advocate living in a simple and sustainable manner to reduce humanity's impact on the natural resources of Earth; and they shun consumerism.[271][272] The New Age
The New Age
movement has been centered around rebuilding a sense of community to counter social disintegration; this has been attempted through the formation of intentional communities, where individuals come together to live and work in a communal lifestyle.[273] Bruce argued that in seeking to "denying the validity of externally imposed controls and privileging the divine within", the New Age
New Age
sought to dismantle pre-existing social order, but that it failed to present anything adequate in its place.[274] Heelas however cautioned that Bruce had arrived at this conclusion based on "flimsy evidence".[275] New Age
New Age
centres have been set up in various parts of the world, representing an institutionalised form of the movement.[276] Notable examples include the Naropa Institute
Naropa Institute
in Boulder, Colorado, Holly Hock Farm near to Vancouver, the Wrekin Trust in West Malvern, Worcestershire, and the Skyros
Skyros
Centre in Skyros.[277] Criticising mainstream Western education as counterproductive to the ethos of the movement, many New Age
New Age
groups have established their own schools for the education of children, although in other cases such groups have sought to introduce New Age
New Age
spiritual techniques into pre-existing establishments.[278] Fairs and festivals[edit] New Age
New Age
spirituality has led to a wide array of literature on the subject and an active niche market, with books, music, crafts, and services in alternative medicine available at New Age
New Age
stores, fairs, and festivals.[citation needed] New Age
New Age
fairs – sometimes known as "Mind, Body, Spirit
Spirit
fairs", "psychic fairs", or "alternative health fairs" – are spaces in which a variety of goods and services are displayed by different vendors, including forms of alternative medicine and esoteric practices such as palmistry or tarot card reading.[279] A prominent example is the Mind Body Spirit
Spirit
Festival, held annually in the United Kingdom,[280] at which – the religious studies scholar Christopher Partridge noted – one could encounter "a wide range of beliefs and practices from crystal healing to ... Kirlian photography to psychic art, from angels to past-life therapy, from Theosophy
Theosophy
to UFO religion, and from New Age music
New Age music
to the vegetarianism of Suma Chign Hai."[281] Similar festivals are held across Europe and in Australia and the United States.[282] Approaches to financial prosperity and business[edit] A number of New Age
New Age
proponents have emphasised the use of spiritual techniques as a tool for attaining financial prosperity, thus moving the movement away from its counter-cultural origins.[283] Commenting on this " New Age
New Age
capitalism", Hess observed that it was largely small-scale and entrepreneurial, focused around small companies run by members of the petty bourgeoisie, rather than being dominated by large scale multinational corporations.[284] The links between New Age
New Age
and commercial products have resulted in the accusation that New Age itself is little more than a manifestation of consumerism.[285] This idea is generally rejected by New Age
New Age
participants, who often reject any link between their practices and consumerist activities.[286] Embracing this attitude, various books have been published espousing such an ethos, established New Age
New Age
centres have held spiritual retreats and classes aimed specifically at business people, and New Age groups have developed specialised training for businesses.[287] During the 1980s, many prominent U.S. corporations—among them IBM, AT&T, and General Motors—embraced New Age
New Age
seminars, hoping that they could increase productivity and efficiency among their work force,[288] although in several cases this resulted in employees bringing legal action against their employers, claiming that such seminars had infringed on their religious beliefs or damaged their psychological health.[289] However, the use of spiritual techniques as a method for attaining profit has been an issue of major dispute within the wider New Age
New Age
movement,[290] with prominent New Agers such as Spangler and Matthew Fox criticising what they see as trends within the community that are narcissistic and lack a social conscience.[291] In particular, the movement's commercial elements have caused problems given that they often conflict with its general economically-egalitarian ethos; as York highlighted, "a tension exists in New Age
New Age
between socialistic egalitarianism and capitalistic private enterprise".[292] Given that it encourages individuals to choose spiritual practices on the grounds of personal preference and thus encourages them to behave as a consumer, the New Age
New Age
has been considered to be well suited to modern society.[293] Music[edit] See also: List of new-age music artists and List of ambient artists The term " New Age
New Age
music" is applied, often in a derogative manner, to forms of ambient music, a genre that developed in the 1960s and was popularised in the 1970s, particularly with the work of Brian Eno.[294] The genre's relaxing nature resulted in it becoming popular within New Age
New Age
circles,[294] with some forms of the genre having a specifically New Age
New Age
orientation.[295] Studies have determined that new-age music can be an effective component of stress management.[296] The style began in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the works of free-form jazz groups recording on the ECM label; such as Oregon, the Paul Winter Consort, and other pre-ambient bands; as well as ambient music performer Brian Eno, classical avant-garde musician Daniel Kobialka,[297][298] and the psychoacoustic environments recordings of Irv Teibel.[299] In the early 1970s, it was mostly instrumental with both acoustic and electronic styles. New-age music
New-age music
evolved to include a wide range of styles from electronic space music using synthesizers and acoustic instrumentals using Native American flutes and drums, singing bowls, Australian didgeredoos and world music sounds to spiritual chanting from other cultures.[297][298] Politics[edit] While many commentators have focused on the spiritual and cultural aspects of the New Age
New Age
movement, it also has a political component. The New Age
The New Age
political movement became visible in the 1970s, peaked in the 1980s, and continued into the 1990s.[300] The sociologist of religion Steven Bruce noted that the New Age
New Age
provides ideas on how to deal with "our socio-psychological problems".[301] Scholar of religion James R. Lewis observed that, despite the common caricature of New Agers as narcissistic, "significant numbers" of them were "trying to make the planet a better place on which to live," [302] and scholar J. Gordon Melton's New Age
New Age
Encyclopedia (1990) included an entry called " New Age
New Age
politics". [303] Some New Agers have entered the political system in an attempt to advocate for the societal transformation that the New Age
New Age
promotes.[304] Ideas[edit] Although New Age
New Age
activists have been motivated by New Age
New Age
concepts like holism, interconnectedness, monism, and environmentalism, their political ideas are diverse,[304] ranging from far-right and conservative through to liberal, socialist, and libertarian.[132] Accordingly, Kyle stated that " New Age
New Age
politics is difficult to describe and categorize. The standard political labels—left or right, liberal or conservative–miss the mark."[304] MacKian suggested that the New Age
New Age
operated as a form of "world-realigning infrapolitics" that undermines the disenchantment of modern Western society.[305]

Writers who have espoused political ideas influenced by New Age perspectives included Mark Satin
Mark Satin
(left) and Benjamin Creme
Benjamin Creme
(right).

The extent to which New Age
New Age
spokespeople mix religion and politics varies.[306] New Agers are often critical of the established political order, regarding it as "fragmented, unjust, hierarchical, patriarchal, and obsolete".[304] The New Ager Mark Satin
Mark Satin
for instance spoke of "New Age politics" as a politically radical "third force" that was "neither left nor right". He believed that in contrast to the conventional political focus on the "institutional and economic symptoms" of society's problems, his " New Age
New Age
politics" would focus on "psychocultural roots" of these issues.[307] Ferguson regarded New Age politics as "a kind of Radical Centre", one that was "not neutral, not middle-of-the-road, but a view of the whole road."[308] Fritjof Capra argued that Western societies have become sclerotic because of their adherence to an outdated and mechanistic view of reality, which he calls the Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm.[309] In Capra's view, the West needs to develop an organic and ecological "systems view" of reality in order to successfully address its social and political issues.[309] Corinne McLaughlin argued that politics need not connote endless power struggles, that a new "spiritual politics" could attempt to synthesize opposing views on issues into higher levels of understanding.[310] Many New Agers advocate globalisation and localisation, but reject nationalism and the role of the nation-state.[311] Some New Age spokespeople have called for greater decentralisation and global unity, but are vague about how this might be achieved; others call for a global, centralised government.[312] Satin for example argued for a move away from the nation-state and towards self-governing regions that, through improved global communication networks, would help engender world unity.[313] Benjamin Creme
Benjamin Creme
conversely argued that "the Christ," a great Avatar, Maitreya, the World Teacher, expected by all the major religions as their "Awaited One," would return to the world and establish a strong, centralised global government in the form of the United Nations; this would be politically re-organised along a spiritual hierarchy.[314] Kyle observed that New Agers often speak favourably of democracy and citizens' involvement in policy making but are critical of representative democracy and majority rule, thus displaying elitist ideas to their thinking.[267] Groups[edit]

The New World Alliance
New World Alliance
was one of several New Age
New Age
political groups in the 1970s and 1980s.

Scholars have noted several New Age
New Age
political groups. Self-Determination: A Personal/Political Network, lauded by Ferguson[315] and Satin,[316] was described at length by sociology of religion scholar Steven Tipton.[317] Founded in 1975 by California state legislator John Vasconcellos
John Vasconcellos
and others, it encouraged Californians to engage in personal growth work and political activities at the same time, especially at the grassroots level.[318] Hanegraaff noted another California-based group, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, headed by author Willis Harman. It advocated a change in consciousness – in "basic underlying assumptions" – in order to come to grips with global crises.[319] Kyle said that the New York City-based Planetary Citizens organization, headed by United Nations consultant and Earth at Omega author Donald Keys, sought to implement New Age
New Age
political ideas.[320] Scholar J. Gordon Melton
J. Gordon Melton
and colleagues focused on the New World Alliance, a Washington, DC-based organization founded in 1979 by Mark Satin and others. According to Melton et al., the Alliance tried to combine left- and right-wing ideas as well as personal growth work and political activities. Group decision-making was facilitated by short periods of silence.[321] Sponsors of the Alliance's national political newsletter included Willis Harman and John Vasconcellos.[322] Scholar James R. Lewis counted "Green politics" as one of the New Age's more visible activities.[302] One academic book claims that the U.S. Green Party movement began as an initiative of a handful of activists including Charlene Spretnak, co-author of a "'new age' interpretation" of the German Green movement (Capra and Spretnak's Green Politics), and Mark Satin, author of New Age
New Age
Politics.[323] Another academic publication says Spretnak and Satin largely co-drafted the U.S. Greens' founding document, the "Ten Key Values" statement.[324] In the 21st century[edit]

New Age
New Age
author Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson
campaigned for a seat in the U.S. Congress in 2013–2014.

While the term "New Age" may have fallen out of favor,[110][325] scholar George Chryssides notes that the New Age
New Age
by whatever name is "still alive and active" in the 21st century.[14] In the realm of politics, New Ager Mark Satin's book Radical Middle (2004) reached out to mainstream liberals.[326][327] York (2005) identified "key New Age spokespeople" including William Bloom, Satish Kumar, and Starhawk
Starhawk
who were emphasizing a link between spirituality and environmental consciousness.[328] Former Esalen Institute
Esalen Institute
staffer Stephen Dinan's Sacred America, Sacred World (2016) prompted a long interview of Dinan in Psychology Today, which called the book a "manifesto for our country's evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual".[329] In 2013 longtime New Age
New Age
author Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson
launched a campaign for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, telling The New York Times
The New York Times
that her type of spirituality was what American politics needed.[330] "America has swerved from its ethical center", she said.[330] Running as an independent in west Los Angeles, she finished fourth in her district's open primary election with 13% of the vote.[331] Reception[edit] Popular media[edit] Mainstream periodicals tended to be less than sympathetic; sociologist Paul Ray and psychologist Sherry Anderson discussed in their 2000 book The Cultural Creatives, what they called the media's "zest for attacking" New Age
New Age
ideas, and offered the example of a 1996 Lance Morrow essay in Time magazine.[325] Nearly a decade earlier, Time had run a long cover story critical of New Age
New Age
culture; the cover featured a head shot of a famous actress beside the headline, "Om.... THE NEW AGE starring Shirley MacLaine, faith healers, channelers, space travelers, and crystals galore".[332] The story itself, by former Saturday Evening Post editor Otto Friedrich, was sub-titled, "A Strange Mix of Spirituality
Spirituality
and Superstition Is Sweeping Across the Country".[333] In 1988, the magazine The New Republic
The New Republic
ran a four-page critique of New Age
New Age
culture and politics by journalist Richard Blow entitled simply, "Moronic Convergence".[334] Some New Agers and New Age
New Age
sympathizers responded to such criticisms. For example, sympathizers Ray and Anderson said that much of it was an attempt to "stereotype" the movement for idealistic and spiritual change, and to cut back on its popularity.[325] New Age
New Age
theoretician David Spangler tried to distance himself from what he called the "New Age glamour" of crystals, talk-show channelers, and other easily commercialized phenomena, and sought to underscore his commitment to the New Age
New Age
as a vision of genuine social transformation.[335] Academia[edit]

One of the first academics to study the New Age
New Age
was Wouter Hanegraaff

Initially, academic interest in the New Age
New Age
was minimal.[336] The earliest academic studies of the New Age
New Age
phenomenon were performed by specialists in the study of new religious movements such as Robert Ellwood.[337] This research was often scanty because many scholars regarded the New Age
New Age
as an insignificant cultural fad.[338] Having been influenced by the U.S. anti-cult movement, much of it was also largely negative and critical of New Age
New Age
groups.[339] The "first truly scholarly study" of the phenomenon was an edited volume put together by James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton
J. Gordon Melton
in 1992.[336] From that point on, the number of published academic studies steadily increased.[336] In 1994, Christoph Bochinger published his study of the New Age
New Age
in Germany, "New Age" und moderne Religion.[336] This was followed by Michael York's sociological study in 1995 and Richard Kyle's U.S.-focused work in 1995.[340] In 1996, Paul Heelas published a sociological study of the movement in Britain, being the first to discuss its relationship with business.[341] That same year, Wouter Hanegraaff published New Age
New Age
Religion
Religion
and Western Culture, a historical analysis of New Age
New Age
texts;[342] Hammer later described it as having "a well-deserved reputation as the standard reference work on the New Age".[343] Most of these early studies were based on a textual analysis of New Age
New Age
publications, rather than on an ethnographic analysis of its practitioners.[344] Sutcliffe and Gilhus argued that ' New Age
New Age
studies' could be seen as having experienced two waves; in the first, scholars focused on "macro-level analyses of the content and boundaries" of the "movement", while the second wave featured "more variegated and contextualized studies of particular beliefs and practices".[345] Sutcliffe and Gilhus have also expressed concern that, as of 2013, ' New Age
New Age
studies' has yet to formulate a set of research questions scholars can pursue.[345] The New Age
The New Age
has proved a challenge for scholars of religion operating under more formative models of what "religion" is.[346] By 2006, Heelas noted that the New Age
New Age
was so vast and diverse that no scholar of the subject could hope to keep up with all of it.[347] Christian perspectives[edit] Mainstream Christianity
Christianity
has typically rejected the ideas of the New Age.[348] Most published criticism of the New Age
New Age
has been produced by Christians, particularly those on the religion's fundamentalist wing.[349] In the United States, the New Age
New Age
became a major concern of evangelical Christian groups in the 1980s, an attitude that came to influence British evangelical groups.[350] During that decade, evangelical writers such as Constance Cumbey, Dave Hunt, Gary North, and Douglas Groothuis published books criticising the New Age
New Age
from their Christian perspective; a number of them have been characterised as propagating conspiracy theories regarding the origin and purpose of the movement.[351] The most successful such publication however was Frank E. Peretti's 1986 novel This Present Darkness, which sold over a million copies; it depicted the New Age
New Age
as being in league with feminism and secular education as part of a conspiracy to overthrow Christianity.[352] Official responses to the New Age
New Age
have been produced by major Christian organisations like the Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, and Methodist Church.[348] The Roman Catholic Church published A Christian reflection on the New Age
A Christian reflection on the New Age
in 2003, following a six-year study; the 90-page document criticizes New Age
New Age
practices such as yoga, meditation, feng shui, and crystal healing.[353][354] According to the Vatican, euphoric states attained through New Age practices should not be confused with prayer or viewed as signs of God's presence.[355] Cardinal Paul Poupard, then-president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the " New Age
New Age
is a misleading answer to the oldest hopes of man".[353] Monsignor Michael Fitzgerald, then-president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, stated at the Vatican conference on the document: the "Church avoids any concept that is close to those of the New Age".[356] There are other Christian groups that have adopted a more positive view of the New Age, among them the New Age
New Age
Catholics, Christaquarians, and Christians Awakening to a New Awareness, all of which believe that New Age ideas can enhance a person's Christian faith.[357] Contemporary Pagan perspectives[edit]

"Neopagan practices highlight the centrality of the relationship between humans and nature and reinvent religions of the past, while New Agers are more interested in transforming individual consciousness and shaping the future."

Religious studies
Religious studies
scholar Sarah Pike.[102]

An issue of academic debate has been regarding the connection between the New Age
New Age
movement and contemporary Paganism, or Neo-Paganism.[358] The two phenomena have often being confused and conflated, particularly in Christian critiques.[359] Religious studies
Religious studies
scholar Sarah Pike asserted that there was a "significant overlap" between the two religious movements,[360] while Aidan A. Kelly stated that Paganism
Paganism
"parallels the New Age
New Age
movement in some ways, differs sharply from it in others, and overlaps it in some minor ways".[361] Other scholars have identified them as distinct phenomena that share overlap and commonalities.[362] Hanegraaff suggested that whereas various forms of contemporary Paganism
Paganism
were not part of the New Age
New Age
movement – particularly those that pre-dated the movement – other Pagan religions and practices could be identified as New Age.[363] Partridge portrayed both Paganism
Paganism
and the New Age
New Age
as different streams of occulture (occult culture) that merge at points.[364] Various differences between the two movements have been highlighted; the New Age
New Age
movement focuses on an improved future, whereas the focus of Paganism
Paganism
is on the pre-Christian past.[365] Similarly, the New Age movement typically propounds a universalist message that sees all religions as fundamentally the same, whereas Paganism
Paganism
stresses the difference between monotheistic religions and those embracing a polytheistic or animistic theology.[365] While the New Age
New Age
emphasises a light-centred image, Paganism
Paganism
acknowledges both light and dark, life and death, and recognises the savage side of the natural world.[366] Many Pagans have sought to distance themselves from the New Age movement, even using "New Age" as an insult within their community, while conversely many involved in the New Age
New Age
have expressed criticism of Paganism
Paganism
for emphasizing the material world over the spiritual.[367] Many Pagans have expressed criticism of the high fees charged by New Age
New Age
teachers, something not typically present in the Pagan movement,[368] with some Pagans pronouncing the word "newage" to rhyme with "sewage".[369] Non-Western and indigenous responses[edit]

"In the case of New Age, its solipsism, coupled with its advocacy of free market principles, opens the world's spiritual arena as an opportunity for spiritual exploitation and even capitalistic imperialism. Not only does it encourage a paradoxical homogenizing to the cultural standards of North Atlantic civilization, exemplifiŽed in its afŽfirmation that 'we are all one', but it also carries an implicit judgement of inferior status for non-hegemonic cultures, inasmuch as they are not considered to be the ones who decide what is to be shared and what is not."

— Sociologist Michael York.[370]

One of the most contentious aspects of the New Age
New Age
has been its adoption of spiritual ideas and practises from other, particularly non-Western cultures.[132] Its belief that all traditions are free for anyone to use, rather than the private property of particular communities, has resulted in New Agers adopting and marketing the practices of Third World
Third World
societies.[371] These have included "Hawaiian Kahuna magic, Australian Aboriginal dream-working, South American Amerindian ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremony, Hindu Ayurveda and yoga, and Chinese Feng Shui, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi".[371] The New Age
The New Age
has been accused of cultural imperialism, misappropriating the sacred ceremonies, and abuse of the intellectual and cultural property of indigenous peoples.[372][373][374][375] Indigenous American spiritual leaders, such as Elders councils of the Lakota, Cheyenne, Navajo, Creek, Hopi, Chippewa, and Haudenosaunee have denounced New Age
New Age
misappropriation of their sacred ceremonies[376] and other intellectual property,[377] stating that "[t]he value of these instructions and ceremonies [when led by unauthorized people] are questionable, maybe meaningless, and hurtful to the individual carrying false messages".[376] Traditional leaders of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota peoples have reached consensus[372][378] to reject "the expropriation of [their] ceremonial ways by non-Indians". They see the New Age
New Age
movement as either not fully understanding, deliberately trivializing, or distorting their way of life,[379] and have declared war on all such "plastic medicine people" who are appropriating their spiritual ways.[372][378] Indigenous leaders have spoken out against individuals from within their own communities who may go out into the world to become a "white man's shaman," and any "who are prostituting our spiritual ways for their own selfish gain, with no regard for the spiritual well-being of the people as a whole".[379] The term "plastic shaman" or "plastic medicine people" has been applied to outsiders who identify themselves as shamans, holy people, or other traditional spiritual leaders, but who have no genuine connection to the traditions or cultures they claim to represent.[373][374][380] Political writers and activists[edit]

" New Age
New Age
politics might be seen not as a wayward, pathological creature of the New Left's imagination, but as a political innocent in candid, questioning dialogue with the unclaimed mainstream territory of progressive, rather than atomistic, individualism. Indeed, if we were to examine some of the social and political threads that run through the aery fabric of New Age
New Age
thinking, we would find certain themes that resonate with the necessary conditions for a left version of progressive individualism. Generally speaking, New Age
New Age
addresses its adherents as active participants, with a measure of control over their everyday lives. ... The New Age
The New Age
'person' is also in many respects an individual whose personal growth is indissociable from the environment; a link fleshed out in a variety of ecotopian stories and romances. So, too, the small-scale imperative of New Age's cooperative communitarianism brings with it a host of potentially critical positions. ..."

— Scholar of cultural studies Andrew Ross, 1991.[381]

Toward the end of the 20th century, some social and political analysts and activists were arguing that the New Age
New Age
political perspective had something to offer mainstream society.[382][383][384] In 1987, some political scientists launched the "Section on Ecological and Transformational Politics" of the American Political Science Association,[385] and an academic book prepared by three of them stated that the "transformational politics" concept was meant to subsume such terms as new age and new paradigm.[386] In 1991, scholar of cultural studies Andrew Ross suggested that New Age
New Age
political ideas – however muddled and naïve – could help progressives construct an appealing alternative to both atomistic individualism and self-denying collectivism. [387] In 2005, British researcher Stuart Rose urged scholars of alternative religions to pay more attention to the New Age's interest in such topics as "new socio-political thinking" and "New Economics",[388] topics Rose discussed in his book Transforming the World: Bringing the New Age
New Age
Into Focus, issued by a European academic publisher.[389] Other political thinkers and activists saw New Age
New Age
politics less positively. On the political right, author George Weigel
George Weigel
argued that New Age
New Age
politics was just a retooled and pastel-colored version of leftism.[390] Conservative evangelical writer Douglas Groothuis, discussed by scholars Hexham[391] and Kemp,[392] warned that New Age politics could lead to an oppressive world government.[393] On the left, scholars argued that New Age
New Age
politics was an oxymoron: that personal growth has little or nothing to do with political change.[394][395] One political scientist said New Age
New Age
politics fails to recognize the reality of economic and political power.[396] Another academic, Dana L. Cloud, wrote a lengthy critique of New Age
New Age
politics as a political ideology;[397] she faulted it for not being opposed to the capitalist system, or to liberal individualism.[398] A criticism of New Age
New Age
often made by leftists is that its focus on individualism deflects participants from engaging in socio-political activism.[399] This perspective regards New Age
New Age
as a manifestation of consumerism that promotes elitism and indulgence by allowing wealthier people to affirm their socio-economic status through consuming New Age products and therapies.[400] New Agers who do engage in socio-political activism have also been criticized. Journalist Harvey Wasserman suggested that New Age
New Age
activists were too averse to social conflict to be effective politically.[401] Melton et al. found that New Age
New Age
activists' commitment to the often frustrating process of consensus decision-making led to "extended meetings and minimal results",[321] and a pair of futurists concluded that one once-promising New Age
New Age
activist group had been both "too visionary and too vague" to last.[402] See also[edit]

Higher consciousness Hippies Hypnosis Mantras New Age
New Age
communities New religious movement Paradigm shift Peace movement Reincarnation Philosophy
Philosophy
of happiness Spiritual evolution

References[edit] Footnotes[edit]

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and Neopagan Religions in America. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231124027. 

Ray, Paul H.; Anderson, Sherry Ruth (2000). The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World. Harmony Books / Random House. ISBN 9780609604670. 

Riordan, Suzanne (1992). "Channeling: A New Revelation?". Perspectives on the New Age. James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton
J. Gordon Melton
(editors). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. pp. 105–126. ISBN 978-0-7914-1213-8. 

Rose, Stuart (2005b). " Book
Book
Review: Children of the New Age". Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age
New Age
Studies. 1: 159–166. 

Ross, Andrew (1991). "Chapter One: New Age
New Age
– A Kinder, Gentler Science?". Strange Weather: Culture, Science, and Technology in the Age of Limits. London and New York: Verso Books. pp. 15–74. ISBN 978-0-86091-567-6. 

Rupert, Glenn A. (1992). "Employing the New Age: Training Seminars". Perspectives on the New Age. James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton (editors). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. pp. 127–135. ISBN 978-0-7914-1213-8. 

Sutcliffe, Steven J. (2003a). Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415242981. 

 ———  (2003b). " Category Formation and the History of 'New Age'". Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 4 (1): 5–29. 

Sutcliffe, Steven J.; Gilhus, Ingvild Sælid (2013). "Introduction: "All mixed up" – Thinking about Religion
Religion
in Relation to New Age Spiritualities". In Steven J. Sutcliffe and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus (eds.). New Age
New Age
Spirituality: Rethinking Religion. Durham, UK: Acumen. pp. 1–16. ISBN 978-1844657148. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)

Urban, Hugh B. (2015). New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements: Alternative Spirituality
Spirituality
in Contemporary America. Oakland, CA: University of California
California
Press. ISBN 978-0-520-28117-2. 

Whedon, Sarah W. (2009). "The Wisdom of Indigo Children: An Emphatic Restatement of the Value of American Children". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 12 (3): 60–76. 

York, Michael (1995). The Emerging Network: A Sociology of the New Age and Neo-Pagan Movements. London: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780847680016. 

 ———  (2001). " New Age
New Age
Commodification and Appropriation of Spirituality". Journal of Contemporary Religion. 16 (3): 361–372. doi:10.1080/13537900120077177. 

 ———  (2005). "Wanting to Have Your New Age
New Age
Cake and Eat It Too". Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies. 1: 15–34. 

Further reading[edit]

Brown, Michael F. (1997). The Channeling Zone: American Spirituality in an Anxious Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.  Saliba, John (1999). Christian Responses to the New Age
New Age
Movement: A Critical Assessment. London: Chapman.  Kemp, Daren; Lewis, James R., eds. (2007), Handbook of New Age, Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, ISBN 978-90-04-15355-4 

External links[edit]

Look up New Age
New Age
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

New Age
New Age
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Center for Visionary Leadership. Organization co-founded and directed by Corinne McLaughlin, co-author of Spiritual Politics, cited above. Lorian Association. Organization co-founded and co-directed by David Spangler, author of Revelation: The Birth of a New Age, cited above. " The New Age
The New Age
40 Years Later". Huffington Post interview of Mark Satin, author of New Age
New Age
Politics, cited above.

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New Age
New Age
movement

Non-exclusive Themes

Age of Aquarius Akashic records Alternative medicine Ancient astronauts Angels Animism Ascended master Astral projection Astrology Atlantis Aura Conspiracy theories Contactee Cosmic ordering Crystal healing Earth Changes Earth mysteries Ecofeminism Energy Environmentalism Faith
Faith
healing Feng shui Gaia hypothesis Gaia philosophy Gnosis Goddess movement Idealism Indigo children Intuition Karma Law of attraction Lemuria Magic Meditation Mediumship Michael Teachings New Age
New Age
communities New Age
New Age
music Odic force Paganism Pantheism Parapsychology Perception Perennial philosophy Quantum mysticism Qi Reincarnation Religious pluralism Supernatural Tantra UFOs Veganism Vegetarianism Wellness Yoga

Proponents or individual influences

José Argüelles Richard Bach Alice Bailey Annie Besant Helena Blavatsky William Bloom Gregg Braden Rhonda Byrne Eileen Caddy Marjorie Cameron Lee Carroll Edgar Cayce Deepak Chopra Andrew Cohen Benjamin Creme Aleister Crowley Scott Cunningham Adi Da Ram Dass Wayne Dyer Werner Erhard Marilyn Ferguson Debbie Ford Gandalf Linda Goodman Glenda Green Alex Grey Michael Harner Esther Hicks Barbara Marx Hubbard David Icke Timothy Leary John Lilly Max Freedom Long Shirley MacLaine Leon MacLaren Terence McKenna Corinne McLaughlin Michael Mirdad Tony Nader Mariam Nour Leonard Orr Jack Parsons Daniel Quinn Rajneesh James Redfield Wilhelm Reich Jane Roberts Helena Roerich Mark Satin Helen Schucman John Selby Ravi Shankar David Spangler Joshua David Stone Ingo Swann Michael Talbot William Thetford Eckhart Tolle Neale Donald Walsch Ken Wilber Stuart Wilde Marianne Williamson Robert Anton Wilson Oprah Winfrey Fred Alan Wolf Roger Woolger Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Other influences

Advaita Vedanta Animism Anthroposophy Ariosophy Ascended Master Teachings Astrology Beat Generation Buddhism Cannabis culture Cognitive science Conspiracy theories Discordianism Eight-circuit model of consciousness Entheogens Esalen Institute Esoteric Christianity Esotericism Freemasonry Fringe science Gay liberation Gnosticism Hermeticism Hinduism Hippie
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Neo-Druidism Wicca

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Rastafari
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Practices

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Faith
healing Fasting Glossolalia Hymn Iconolatry Japa kinomichi Koan
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practice Mantra Meditation Martyrdom Ministering Miracles Monasticism Muraqaba Nonresistance Nonviolence Pacifism Pilgrimage Prayer Qawwali Qigong Religious ecstasy Religious music Repentance Revivalism Ritual Sacrament Sacrifice Sadhana Sahaj marg Sainthood Self-realization Shamanism Simple living Simran Supplication Sufi whirling T'ai chi ch'uan Theosis Tithing Vegetarianism Veneration Vipassana Wabi-sabi Wearing vestments Worship Yoga Zazen

Belief systems

Advaita Anthroposophy Darshana Deism Esotericism Eutheism, dystheism, and maltheism Gnosticism Henotheism Kathenotheism Monotheism Monolatry Mysticism New Age Nondualism Pandeism Panendeism Panentheism Pantheism Polydeism Polytheism Religion Spiritualism Sufism Taoism Theism Transcendentalism Vedanta

Texts

A Course in Miracles Akilattirattu Ammanai Bible Book
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Bonilla observation
(1883) Aurora (1897)

20th century

Los Angeles (1942) Kenneth Arnold (1947) Maury Island (1947) Roswell (1947) Aztec, New Mexico (1948) Mantell (1948) Chiles-Whitted (1948) Gorman Dogfight (1948) Mariana (1950) McMinnville photographs (1950) Sperry (1950) Lubbock Lights
Lubbock Lights
(1951) Carson Sink (1952) Nash-Fortenberry (1952) Washington, D.C. (1952) Flatwoods monster
Flatwoods monster
(1952) Ellsworth (1953) Kelly–Hopkinsville (1955) Lakenheath-Bentwaters (1956) Antônio Vilas Boas
Antônio Vilas Boas
(1957) Levelland (1957) Trindade Island (1958) Barney and Betty Hill
Barney and Betty Hill
abduction (1961) Lonnie Zamora incident
Lonnie Zamora incident
(1964) Solway Firth Spaceman (1964) Exeter (1965) Kecksburg (1965) Westall (1966) Shag Harbour (1967) Pascagoula Abduction
Pascagoula Abduction
(1973) Travis Walton incident (1975) Allagash (1976) Tehran (1976) Petrozavodsk phenomenon
Petrozavodsk phenomenon
(1977) Operação Prato (1977) Valentich disappearance (1978) Kaikoura Lights (1978) Robert Taylor incident
Robert Taylor incident
(1979) Val Johnson incident (1979) Cash-Landrum incident (1980) Rendlesham Forest (1980) Trans-en-Provence (1981) Japan Air Lines (1986) Voronezh UFO incident (1989) Belgian UFO wave
Belgian UFO wave
(1990) Varginha (1996) Phoenix Lights
Phoenix Lights
(1997)

21st century

USS Nimitz UFO incident
USS Nimitz UFO incident
(2004) Campeche, Mexico (2004) O'Hare Airport (2006) Alderney (2007) Norway (2009) Morristown, New Jersey (2009)

Sightings by country

Argentina Australia Belarus Belgium Brazil Canada China France India Indonesia Iran Italy Mexico New Zealand Norway Philippines Russia South Africa Spain (Canary Islands) Sweden Thailand United Kingdom United States

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Studies

The Flying Saucers Are Real
The Flying Saucers Are Real
(1947–1950) Project Sign (1948) Estimate of the Situation Project Grudge (1949) Flying Saucer Working Party (1950) Project Magnet (1950–1962) Project Blue Book (1952–1970) Robertson Panel
Robertson Panel
(1953) Condon Report (1966–1968) Institute 22 (1978–?) Project Condign
Project Condign
(1997–2000) Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program
Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program
(2007-2012) Identification studies of UFOs

Hypotheses

Ancient astronauts Cryptoterrestrial Extraterrestrial Interdimensional Psychosocial Nazi UFOs Trotskyist-Posadism

Conspiracy theories

Area 51 Bob Lazar Dulce Base Majestic 12 Men in black Project Serpo

Involvement

Abduction

History Entities Claimants Narrative Missing time Perspectives Insurance

Other

Implants Close encounter Contactee Declassification of documents Government responses (GEIPAN) Organizations Ufologists Topics

Culture

Conventions Fiction Religions (list)

Skepticism

List of scientific skeptics Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

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Technology

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Applications

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Agreements

UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm 1972) Brundtlandt Commission Report (1983) Our Common Future
Our Common Future
(1987) Earth Summit
Earth Summit
(1992) Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Agenda 21
Agenda 21
(1992) Convention on Biological Diversity
Convention on Biological Diversity
(1992) ICPD Programme of Action (1994) Earth Charter Lisbon Principles UN Millennium Declaration (2000) Earth Summit
Earth Summit
2002 (Rio+10, Johannesburg) United Nations
United Nations
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Enlightenment

Augustin Calmet René Descartes Blaise Pascal Baruch Spinoza Nicolas Malebranche Gottfried W Leibniz William Wollaston Thomas Chubb David Hume Baron d'Holbach Immanuel Kant Johann G Herder

1800 1850

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1880 1900

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1920 postwar

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1970 1990 2010

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Notable figures

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Herbert W. Armstrong Shoko Asahara Sri Aurobindo Subh-i-Azal Báb Sathya Sai Baba Bahá'u'lláh Alice Bailey David Berg Helena Blavatsky Sri Chinmoy Aleister Crowley Mary Baker Eddy Charles Fillmore Hak Ja Han L. Ron Hubbard Li Hongzhi Anton LaVey Lu Sheng-yen Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Meher Baba Sun Myung Moon Elijah Muhammad Nakayama Miki A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Phineas Quimby Rajneesh Ramakrishna Prem Rawat Helena Roerich Charles Taze Russell Joseph Franklin Rutherford Ahn Sahng-hong Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar Swaminarayan Joseph Smith Nirmala Srivastava Emanuel Swedenborg Rudolf Steiner Joseph W. Tkach Chögyam Trungpa Ellen G. White

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Bathouism Bongthingism Donyi-Polo Kiratism Sanamahism Sarnaism Aboriginal Australian Native American Mesoamerican Hawaiian Polynesian

Recent

Discordianism Eckankar Jediism New Age New Thought Pastafarianism Raëlism Satanism Scientology Thelema Unitarian Universalism Wicca

Historical religions

Prehistoric

Paleolithic

Near East

Arabian Egyptian Mesopotamian Semitic

Canaanite Yahwism

Indo-European

Asia

Proto-Indo-Iranian Armenian Ossetian Vedic Zoroastrianism

Mithraism Zurvanism

Gnosticism

Manichaeism

Europe

Celtic Germanic

Anglo-Saxon Continental Norse

Greek

Gnosticism Neoplatonism

Manichaeism Balkan Roman Slavic

Topics

Aspects

Apostasy / Disaffiliation Behaviour Beliefs Clergy Conversion Deities Entheogens Ethnic religion Denomination Faith Fire Folk religion God Meditation Monasticism

monk nun

Mysticism Mythology Nature Ordination Orthodoxy Orthopraxy Prayer Prophesy Religious experience Ritual

liturgy sacrifice

Spirituality Supernatural Symbols Truth Water Worship

Theism

Animism Deism Dualism Henotheism Monotheism Nontheism Panentheism Pantheism Polytheism Transtheism

Religious studies

Anthropology Cognitive science Comparative Development Evolutionary origin Evolutionary psychology History Philosophy Neurotheology Psychology Sociology Theology Theories Women

Religion
Religion
and society

Agriculture Business Clergy

monasticism ordination

Conversion

evangelism missionary proselytism

Education Fanaticism Freedom

pluralism syncretism toleration universalism

Fundamentalism Growth Happiness Homosexuality Minorities National church National religiosity levels Religiocentrism Political science Populations Schism Science State Theocracy Vegetarianism Video games Violence

persecution terrorism war

Wealth

Secularism
Secularism
and irreligion

Antireligion Deism Agnosticism Atheism Criticism LaVeyan Satanism Deconstruction Humanistic Judaism Irreligion by country Objectivism Secular humanism Secular theology Secularization Separation of church and state Unaffiliated

Overviews and lists

Index Outline Timeline Abrahamic prophets Deification Deities Founders Mass gatherings New religious movements Organizations Religions and spiritual traditions Scholars

Category Portal

Authority control

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