Spiritualities of Life: New Age Romanticism and Consumptive Capitalism

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John Wiley & Sons, Jan 21, 2009 - Social Science - 296 pages
This insightful and provocative journey through spiritual landscapes explores the ways in which spiritualities of life have been experienced and understood in Western society, and argues that today’s myriad forms of holistic spirituality are helping us to find balance in face of the stifling demands of twenty-first century living.

  • An enlightening book which explores the ways in which spirituality has been experienced and valued in Western society
  • Traces the development of modern spirituality, from the origins of Romanticism in the eighteenth century, through to the counter-cultural sixties and on to the wellbeing culture of today
  • Explores the belief that modern spirituality is merely an extension of capitalism in which people consume spirituality without giving anything back
  • Contends that much of the wide range of popular mind-body-spirit practices are really an ethically charged force for the ‘good life’, helping us to find balance in the demands of twenty-first century living
  • Written by an acknowledged world-leader working in the field
  • Completes a trilogy of books including The Spiritual Revolution (2005, with Linda Woodhead) and The New Age Movement (1996), charting the rise and influence of spirituality today.

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Part I Portraying Spiritualities of Life
Part II The Consuming Growth Debate
Part III To Work Beyond the Consuming Self
Epilogue Birthright Spirituality Beyond the West
Appendix Evidence Indicative of Inner Life Beliefs

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About the author (2009)

Paul Heelas is Professor in Religion and Modernity in the Department of Religious Studies at Lancaster University. For some thirty years he has published extensively, including The New Age Movement [ Blackwell, 1996) and The Spiritual Revolution [ Blackwell, 2005, with Linda Woodhead]. and is one of the world's leading authorities on the study of contemporary spiritualities.

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