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Science And The New Age

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Chapter Summary

The popularity of books such as Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics(1975) and the more recent enthusiasm for productions like the film What the Bleep Do We Know? (2004) indicate that New Age interest in alternative science and alternative interpretations of mainstream science is a major cultural phenomenon. For earlier generations of scholars, the secularisation process seemed to be an integral part of the progress of science, a progressive development accompanied by the triumph of a scientific world view which provided humankind with “an understanding of reality that must replace traditional religions”. Wouter Hanegraaff points out that modern secularism is also a Naturphilosophie rather than science in the strict sense. One way of approaching the New Age is to see how it contrasts itself with what might be termed the ‘Old Age’. Numerous observers have pointed out that what the alternative spiritual subculture primarily seeks in science is legitimacy.

Keywords: Fritjof Capra; Naturphilosophie; New Age; Old Age; secularisation; The Tao of Physics; Wouter Hanegraaff



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