The re-enchantment of the West: alternative spiritualities, sacralization, popular culture, and occulture

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T & T Clark International, 2004 - Religion - 265 pages
As a book about emergent spirituality in the contemporary West, this books focuses on the nature, evolution and significance of new forms of religion and alternative spiritualities.Part One of the book provides the theoretical background and guides the reader through some of the principal debates. After an overview of the secularization thesis, which argues that the West is becoming increasingly disenchanted, the second chapter turns to the sociological analysis of new religions and alternative spiritualities. Particular attention is given to the ideas of the sociologist of religion Ernst Troeltsch, especially his enigmatic analysis of the emergence mystical religion, which presciently provides helpful insights into understanding the contemporary alternative religious milieu. Against sociologists such as Bryan Wilson and Steve Bruce, this and the subsequent chapter argues that, rather than being insignificant, new forms of spirituality are actually proving to be a significant part of Western re-enchantment. Chapter 3 constructs a general theory of the re-enchantment of the West.

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About the author (2004)

Christopher Partridge is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Contemporary Religion in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Chester College, Chester. He is also the editor of Fundamentalisms. Theodore Gabriel was born in Kerala State, India, and trained in Anthropology and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He was Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Gloucestershire until 2000, and is currently Honorary Research Fellow at the same university.

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