The Re-Enchantment of the West: Volume 1 Alternative Spiritualities, Sacralization, Popular Culture and Occulture
As a book about emergent spirituality in the contemporary West, it focuses on the nature, evolution and significance of new forms of religion and alternative spiritualities.
Part One of the book provides the theoretical background and guides the reader through some of the principal debates. After an overview of the secularization thesis, which argues that the West is becoming increasingly disenchanted, the second chapter turns to the sociological analysis of new religions and alternative spiritualities. Particular attention is given to the ideas of the sociologist of religion Ernst Troeltsch, especially his enigmatic analysis of the emergence mystical religion, which presciently provides helpful insights into understanding the contemporary alternative religious milieu. Against sociologists such as Bryan Wilson and Steve Bruce, this and the subsequent chapter argues that, rather than being insignificant, new forms of spirituality are actually proving to be a significant part of Western re-enchantment. Chapter 3 constructs a general theory of the re-enchantment of the West.
'Chris Partridge argues that Western Society is permeated by a broad "occulture" by which he means a reservoir of ideas, beliefs, theories and practices to which new religions, unorthodox spiritualities, film and popular music all draw attention. This re-enchantment of the West should not be seen as a superficial secondary development in the shadow of Christianity. In many ways it is a religious phenomenom in its own right. Partridge's arguments in this regard are well put and I warmly welcome this timely book.' Mikhael Rothstein, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
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THE REENCHANTMENT OF THE WEST
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