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Producing And Consuming New Age Spirituality: The Cultic Milieu And The Network Paradigm

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Chapter Summary

The search for adequate conceptualisation and understanding of New Age spirituality is fraught with difficulties if pursued within the theoretical perspectives of sociology, which shed light on the role of religion in modernity. This chapter revises the notion of cult and cultic milieu and adapts it to our late-/ post-modern and network society, which is in symbiosis with consumer culture. The term New Religious Movement is often used to explain the boom of new religious groups since the 1960s counter-cultural revolution. These groups are often classified as world rejecting or world-affirming. The chapter argues that the sociological work on ‘cults’ could describe various cells within the network paradigm, and thus should not be forgotten. Explaining the cultic milieu only with reference to the production of spirituality does not aid in the understanding of the movements of ‘New Agers’ among ideal-types of cults.

Keywords: cultic milieu; network paradigm; New Age spirituality; New Agers

10.1163/ej.9789004153554.i-484.51
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004153554.i-484.51
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