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New Age and Neopagan Religions in America by Sarah Pike

By Sarah Pike

From Shirley MacLaine's religious biography Out on a Limb to the teenage witches within the movie The Craft, New Age and Neopagan ideals have made sensationalistic headlines. within the mid- to past due Nineties, a number of very important scholarly reviews of the recent Age and Neopagan events have been released, testifying to educational in addition to renowned reputation that those religions are an important presence at the modern North American spiritual panorama. Self-help books by means of New Age channelers and psychics are a wide and becoming marketplace; annual spending on channeling, self-help companies, and substitute future health care is at $10 to $14 billion; an predicted 12 million americans are concerned with New Age actions; and American Neopagans are anticipated at round 200,000. New Age and Neopagan Religions in America introduces the ideals and practices in the back of the general public faces of those debatable events, which were starting to be progressively in overdue 20th- and early twenty-first-century America.

What is the recent Age circulation, and the way is it varied from and just like Neopaganism in its underlying ideals and still-evolving practices? the place did those decentralized and eclectic pursuits come from, and why have they grown and flourished at this element in American non secular historical past? what's the courting among the hot Age and Neopaganism and different religions in the United States, fairly Christianity, that is usually construed as hostile to them? Drawing on historic and ethnographic money owed, Sarah Pike explores those questions and gives a sympathetic but serious remedy of spiritual practices frequently marginalized but hovering in attractiveness. The booklet offers a normal creation to the sorts of New Age and Neopagan religions within the usa this present day in addition to an account in their nineteenth-century roots and emergence from the Sixties counterculture. masking such themes as therapeutic, gender and sexuality, millennialism, and formality event, it additionally furnishes a wealthy description and research of the religious worlds and social networks created by way of members.

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15 their home altars alongside objects such as pentacles, candles, crystals, and goddess figurines. Most of them believe in reincarnation (rebirth—the continuity of the soul through many lives) and karma (derived from the Hindu belief that the condition into which each soul is reborn is the result of good or bad actions performed in previous lives), and they look to past lives to help them understand the present. In order to heal wounds from the past and past lives and to live more fully in the present, New Agers and Neopagans engage in holistic healing practices such as herbal therapies, aura cleansing, psychic healing, and massage and other types of body work.

Most of them believe in reincarnation (rebirth—the continuity of the soul through many lives) and karma (derived from the Hindu belief that the condition into which each soul is reborn is the result of good or bad actions performed in previous lives), and they look to past lives to help them understand the present. In order to heal wounds from the past and past lives and to live more fully in the present, New Agers and Neopagans engage in holistic healing practices such as herbal therapies, aura cleansing, psychic healing, and massage and other types of body work.

R. R. Tolkien’s land of the elves, the Neopagan Lothlorien is envisioned as a magical place where spiritual beings are free to roam and accessible to humans who treat the land properly. Nature sanctuaries are one of the ways that Neopagans put their religious ideas into practice, because they are set up to facilitate the relationships between humans and other sentient beings. When Neopagans act as caretakers and stewards of the land, they embody an alternative response to environmental problems that does not require social and political activism.

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