New Spirituality, Self, And Belonging

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Through in-depth interviews with 22 New Agers and Neo-Pagans, this study proposes a new model of religious identity from a sociological standpoint. The analysis demonstrates that in spite of their great diversity of beliefs and lack of strong organizational ties, a discernible community of alternative spiritualists does exist.

This volume will appeal not only to scholars of the sociology of religion, but also to sociologists interested in community building, social movements, and self-identity.

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Editorial Reviews

Sociologist Block delves into the paradox that New Agers and Neo- Pagans construct highly personalized spiritual belief systems unlikely to be like anyone else's, yet such activity forms the basis for strong social solidarity. He draws heavily on in-depth interviews because many of the subjects believe that the spoken word is the primary medium through which religious or spiritual understanding is formulated and advanced. He also integrates information from popular magazines and his own observations of large and small groups. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JON P. BLOCH is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Southern Connecticut State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Conceptualizing Alternative Spirituality 7
2 Talking about Self-Autonomy and Community 29
3 Ideological Strains: Spirituality and Science 47
4 Other Dualisms: Earth/Sky, Goddess/God, Dark/Light 61
5 Ideological Limitations 79
6 Mythology as Ideology 99
Conclusion 115
Appendix A 121
Appendix B 125
Bibliography 127
Index 135
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