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Comparing existing evidence from the USA and Europe, with a UK-based study of religion and spirituality, this fascinating book addresses the most pressing question in the study of religion today: are new forms of spirituality overtaking traditional forms of religion?
Based on the detailed study of religion and spirituality in Kendal, UK
Compares pioneering findings from Kendal with existing evidence from the USA and Europe
Provides a theoretical perspective which explains both secularization and sacralization
Offers some startling predictions about the future of religion and spirituality in the west
Is written in an accessible and lively style, and will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in the future direction of belief in the western world.
How a Small British Town Informs Us About the Future of Religious Activity
2 people found this helpful.
on April 29, 2014
By Jeremy Garber
Don’t let the title fool you. This volume provides a well-researched and sophisticated inquiry into the everyday life of a small British town that provides an illustration of the religious and spiritual future. Heelas, Woodhead, and the rest of their research team investigated attendance in what they call the “congregational domain” (traditional churches) and the “holistic milieu” (yoga, acupuncture, etc.) of a 27,000-person area from 2000-2002. The argument of their work is that due to the “massive subjective turn of modern culture,” a turn away from defining oneself in terms of external or objective roles toward one’s own subjective experiences, 21st century persons are moving from ‘life-as’ to ‘subjective-life,’ from defining oneself in terms of the transcendent or supra-self order toward subjectivities and relationships. They thus predict that traditional congregational life and investment in alternative forms of the holistic milieu (the unfortunately named ‘spirituality’ of the title) will roughly equal each other at 3-4% each of the British population in thirty years.
Fascinating, but too much research for the general reader
2 people found this helpful.
on May 10, 2005
By Amazon Customer
The book attempts to study the rise of spirituality through the in depth study of one community, its different “religious” and “spiritual” practices and their change over time.
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