Possession, Power and the New Age : Ambiguities of Authority in Neoliberal Societies [NOOK Book]

Overview

This book provides a new sociological account of contemporary religious phenomena such as channelling, holistic healing, meditation and divination, which are usually classed as part of a New Age Movement. Drawing on his extensive ethnography carried out in the UK, alongside comparative studies in America and Europe, Matthew Wood criticizes the view that such phenomena represent spirituality in which self-authority is paramount. Instead, he emphasizes the role of social authority and the centrality of spirit ...
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Possession, Power and the New Age : Ambiguities of Authority in Neoliberal Societies

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Overview

This book provides a new sociological account of contemporary religious phenomena such as channelling, holistic healing, meditation and divination, which are usually classed as part of a New Age Movement. Drawing on his extensive ethnography carried out in the UK, alongside comparative studies in America and Europe, Matthew Wood criticizes the view that such phenomena represent spirituality in which self-authority is paramount. Instead, he emphasizes the role of social authority and the centrality of spirit possession and links these to participants's class positions and experiences of secularization.

Informed by sociological and anthropological approaches to social power and practice, especially the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, Wood explores what he calls 'nonformative religion' and charts similarities and differences with pagan, spiritualist and Theosophical religious traditions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781409477471
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Matthew Wood is Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast, UK.
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Table of Contents

Approaching New Age
The field of New Age studies
Power, self and practice
The meditation group
Channelling workshops
The Nottinghamshire fair
Spiritualism and paganism
Nonformativeness, possession and class in neoliberal societies
Bibliography
Index.
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