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New Age Diffuse Communities

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Chapter Summary

The fragmentation and diffusion of communities is recognised by many social commentators as the process of the dissolution of fundamental building blocks of society—the consequences of which are evident in the growth of the social ills of modernity. The development of a newsletter in September 2000 from an informal network of Psychology of Vision (PoV) workshop participants illustrates one manifestation of the increasing cohesiveness of some aspects of informal network groups, or web-communities. The field of New Age and alternative spiritualities offers new expressions of community and relationship for scholars of religion to study. This chapter offers theoretical models to describe these phenomena and provides empirical examples of the ways communities are engaged with and function amongst New Agers. From certain perspectives on religious communities, the New Age diffuse communities may be read as negations of structural integrity, they are seen to exhibit and exemplify the fractured discontinuities of postmodernity.

Keywords: New Age diffuse communities; Psychology of Vision (PoV); web-communities



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