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Belief without BordersInside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious$
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Linda A. Mercadante

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931002.001.0001

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Common Themes

Common Themes

(p.68) 4 Common Themes
Belief without Borders

Linda A. Mercadante

Oxford University Press

The chapter asks whether this phenomenon should be called New Age. In any case, it is decidedly a post-Christian and “self” spirituality which sacralizes the inner self. Interviewees are shown to object to various positions—both ethical and theological—that they identify with organized religion. Among other things, this includes salvationary exclusivism and the authority of tradition. Their shift in “locus of authority” is a predominant factor motivating their objections and moving credibility from outside to inside the self. They also promote a perennialist view of religions and champion a type of universal truth. Nevertheless, they practice hybridity, syncretism, and freely “poach” or borrow selectively from many sources. Their views on nature and personal experience are also discussed. Many direct quotes illustrate these points.

Keywords:   New Age, post-Christian, spirituality, exclusivism, perennialism, authority, hybridity, syncretism, nature, experience

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