New Age

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New Age (English for "New Age ") was a term used in the last third of the 20th century for various currents in esotericism . Originally synonymous with the astrologically based term " Aquarian Age", "New Age" was soon used independently of it in a very free way. There was often talk of a New Age movement , which is problematic from a sociological point of view. Towards the end of the 20th century, the term “New Age” went out of fashion.

Concept history

Alice Bailey

As far as is known to this day, the catchphrase “New Age” was first used in 1804 by William Blake in the foreword to his poem Milton . In 1864 the American Warren Felt Evans published a pamphlet called The New Age and Its Message , with the message (message) meant the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg . From 1894 a modernist magazine called The New Age appeared in England with a changing, partly political ( socialist ), partly literary orientation, which from 1907 under the direction of Alfred Richard Orage et al. a. was also devoted to spiritual topics. However, the term new age only found a certain spread through the theosophical writings of Alice Bailey , and it finally became generally known around 1970 in the context of the Californian protest movement. In this context it was initially about synonymous with " Aquarian Age "; the associated astrological ideas quickly faded into the background.

"New Age" is a very vague collective term. A clear definition was never established, and the term was freely assigned to various currents and groups. According to Kocku von Stuckrad's introduction, what is esotericism? (2004) was able to show certain continuities in the history of ideas in the religious traditions involved, but the empirical - sociological analysis shows "that there can be no talk of a unified movement with consistent views". Examples of attempts at a narrower definition of the term range from the thesis of the sociologist Hans Sebald that the New Age movement is a “romantic movement”, to the conception of a New Age worldview by the philosopher and sociologist Christof Schorsch to the (primarily on Germany related) view of the religious scholar Christoph Bochinger that it is neither a movement nor a worldview, but a “collective term for religion in the West under the conditions of modernity, which has broken away from the ecclesiastical framework”, mainly coined by some book publishers .

In retrospect, "New Age" is often associated with the protest movement of the 1960s, although the term was hardly in use at the time. In this perspective, “New Age” denotes the entire alternative movement since the 1960s. In contrast, the cultural historian and religious scholar Wouter J. Hanegraaff, in his monograph New Age Religion and Western Culture (1996), points out significant differences between the movements of the 1960s and those of the 1980s: in the 1960s it was mainly young people who were politically left-wing were oriented and inclined to radical political action; the use of psychedelic drugs was also very widespread. In the 1980s, however, the movement was no longer limited to a specific generation, Karl Marx and Che Guevara no longer played a role, political actions were no longer part of the typical repertoire, and instead of drugs, meditations and other spiritual techniques of " expanding consciousness " were preferred .

In the German-speaking area, the term "New Age" only came into use towards the end of the 1970s, and it peaked here from around 1985 to 1988. Due to increasing commercial use, it was used from the 1980s - initially in the English-speaking area - a negative aftertaste for previous followers, and prominent representatives like Fritjof Capra distanced themselves from it. Today "New Age" is rarely used as a self-designation and is often even viewed as a dirty word.


The origins of the movement or the cultic milieu (Hanegraaff) associated with the term “New Age” can be traced back at least to the occult of the 18th century. In a narrower sense, Hanegraaff describes the UFO cults of the 1950s as the “Proto-New Age movement”. This is a milieu in which supposed sightings of UFOs were associated with an approaching apocalypse . These UFO cults were partly influenced by the theosophical teaching of Alice Bailey , which also brought the name "New Age". In the 1960s, “alternative” communities such as those in Findhorn , Scotland, were added, in which at the beginning there were also apocalyptic expectations. Since the apocalypse did not materialize, however, the belief established (apparently based on Findhorn) that the new age had already begun, but had not struck mankind as a catastrophe, as expected, but merely opened up the possibility of a changed way of life and inner attitude of the people to be realized . This early New Age movement (Hanegraaff calls it new age sensu stricto ) originated in Great Britain, was strongly theosophical and anthroposophical , and the central theme was the new Aquarian age .

In the 1970s, the term “New Age” became common in the English-speaking world and was associated with a large number of “alternative” ideas and objectives. At the same time, the awareness of belonging to a movement developed . The focus shifted to North America, where especially the Californian "counter-culture" (counterculture) and the tradition of the New Thought movement (new thought movement) significant influence exercised. Theosophical and anthroposophical elements such as the concept of the Aquarian Age took a back seat in the diversity of topics. In the 80s, this broader movement ( new age sensu lato at Hanegraaff) then also gained a foothold in German-speaking countries, and the sociologist Christof Schorsch wrote in 1988 that "a social movement had emerged in Germany that had long since reached a sociologically relevant scale". In contrast, the religious scholar Christoph Bochinger, in his dissertation “New Age” and modern religion published in 1994, took the view that in this country there could be no talk of a consistent movement or even of a worldview, but primarily of a marketing staging by some book publishers. In the United States in particular, there was a strong trend in the 1980s and 1990s to associate New Age spirituality with the pursuit of material success, and this was the most striking hallmark of the late New Age, according to Heelas, and in the 1990s fastest growing sector.

In the mid-1990s, particularly in the German-speaking New Age milieu, there was a strong interest in conspiracy theories such as those spread by Jan van Helsing . In this context, the previously left - liberal and largely apolitical milieu opened up to right - wing extremist ideas. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke sees the political situation after Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and the lack of the hoped-for spiritual change, which could be made plausible by conspiracy fantasies, as reasons for this sudden shift into a pessimistic discourse . The increased turn to Celtic and Germanic orientated directions of neo-paganism also played an important role .

Since the term "New Age" has been discredited since the 1980s and is rarely used today as a self-designation, von Stuckrad regards the New Age movement as an already completed episode in the history of religion, which can only be identified by external attributions (by critics and scientists involved in the matter) is artificially kept alive. The milieu, which temporarily existed as a New Age scene, is still present - just like the main topics - and can to a large extent simply be described as modern esotericism.

Important representatives

The book Revelation: The Birth of a New Age (1971) by David Spangler , who stayed for a few years in the Findhorn Community in Scotland and wrote down his visions of a new age there, contributed significantly to the spread of the term New Age . He cited channeled messages as the source ; his accompanying comments reveal a strong influence of Alice Bailey's theosophy . This book quickly advanced to become one of the fundamental texts of the emerging New Age subculture.

Another typical representative of the early New Age (New Age sensu stricto ) native to Great Britain was George Trevelyan with A Vision of the Aquarian Age (1977). Trevelyan designed a very idealistic- spiritual worldview, which was strongly anthroposophical and theosophical and particularly linked to the British idealism of romanticism .

Marilyn Ferguson

A much-quoted work of the middle phase of the New Age is the book The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (1980), (Eng .: The gentle conspiracy. Personal and social transformation in the Age of Aquarius , 1982) by Marilyn Ferguson . Hanegraaff describes it as the “ Manifesto ” of the Middle New Age (early New Age movement sensu lato ), in which the awareness of belonging to a movement, which is emerging in wide circles, is formulated in a representative way. Ferguson predicted a profound social change in the 1980s that would come from networks of New Age supporters. After this predicted change had not occurred, it replaced “in the 1980s” with “in our time” when it was reissued in the early 1990s.

At Ferguson physicists concluded Fritjof Capra with The Turning Point (1982) (dt .: Turning Point , 1983) in which he a paradigm shift announced in Science: The previous mechanistic, Newtonian - Cartesian paradigm is outdated and going through a new holistic - System-theoretical and ecological paradigm replaced, which also includes a spiritual dimension and is in harmony with both current developments in natural science and with old Eastern mystical traditions. That will fundamentally change society and solve numerous problems that Capra blamed on the "old" paradigm. Capra's book was the New Age's best-selling “standard work” in the German-speaking world.

Typical of the commercialization and trivialization of the later New Age, from which Spangler, Capra et al. a. distanced, are the autobiographical bestsellers and the subsequent television programs by actress Shirley MacLaine , beginning with Out on a Limb (1983).

Centers and settlements

The most famous and landmark centers of the New Age movement are the Findhorn Foundation in northeast Scotland and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur , California, both founded in 1962. The Findhorn community was the center of the early New Age as an alternative living community , while the Esalen Institute, founded by psychologists Michael Murphy and Richard Price, is primarily an event center that recorded tens of thousands of participants annually in the 1970s. Both were role models for numerous similar start-ups.

Basic features of New Age religiosity

Hanegraaff identified five basic tendencies of New Age religiosity, despite all the diversity:

  • Alignment to this world (this-worldliness) or - mostly - to a similarly presented hereafter (weak this-worldliness) ,
  • Holism - everything is related to everything
  • Evolutionism , where evolution is viewed as directed and / or creative and includes the development of human consciousness, society and the whole cosmos,
  • Psychologizing of religion and sacralization of psychology: the evolution of consciousness leads to perfect enlightenment , which also self-knowledge and God-knowledge and ultimately implies that at all any reality through the "spirit" (at least) is created,
  • Expectation of a new age.

Regarding God or the divine, the New Age ranged from pantheism , which regards everything as divine, to moderate atheism . A more atheistic attitude was typically associated with a pronounced interest in modern physics. Many New Agers adhered to a monotheistic faith, often regarding themselves as Christians. Also widespread were polytheistic ideas that were linked to old pagan traditions ( neo-paganism ) or psychologically based on Jung's theory of archetypes (e.g. Vivianne Crowley). In addition, there was a widespread belief in the existence of other non-physical beings such as angels or nature spirits .

This vagueness of the image of God resulted from an emphasis on one's own spiritual experience in relation to given beliefs. The New Agers were convinced that the divine could be experienced internally, and statements of a definition were considered inappropriate to the nature of this experience. Characteristic was therefore a pronounced tolerance towards various ways of experiencing the divine. However, the “ anthropomorphic ” idea of ​​a judging and punishing God outside of one's own experience was largely rejected .

Death was not given great importance in the New Age belief systems (with the exception of Neopaganism ). In principle, it was only considered a transition to another form of existence, since only the body was viewed as mortal and the soul as immortal. This was mostly associated with a belief in rebirth in another body. In contrast to traditional Jewish, Christian and Islamic religiosity, the spirituality of the New Age was not geared towards a better future life, but towards the improvement of this life. Accordingly, the Hindu or Buddhist law of karma was taken up as a topic, but largely rejected as a law or rule. What was important was realizing the higher self in this life, not avoiding "bad" karmas for future embodiments.

In 1996, the British religious scholar Paul Heelas compared the New Age's image of man and the concept of God with those of traditional Christianity. While the traditional Christian sees himself subjected to the fall of man, hopes for his redemption through God and seeks to attain it through worship, prayer and obedience, according to Heelas the New Ager sees his actual self as fundamentally good, even divine, and he works on it to realize. As the Christian follows the biblical commandments, the New Ager draws his attention to an inner voice to which he ascribes a divine status. Thus the New Ager already consider himself to be godlike, while the traditional Christian presents his God as being infinitely above himself and not even accessible to human understanding. However, they both share the goal of overcoming or transforming the ordinary ego.

In addition to originally Western elements, Eastern religions also found their way into the New Age, especially Hinduism and Buddhism . This happened partly indirectly via theosophy and the New Spirit movement , partly directly through the reception of the teachings of representatives of these religions such as Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda who worked in the West . However, these oriental teachings were consistently idealized and adapted to modern western ways of thinking.

The American religious scholar Hugh Urban describes New Age as a broad spectrum of alternative spiritual beliefs and practices that have two things in common: In contrast to other new religious movements such as Mormonism or Scientology, there is no strict distinction between members and non-members. It is an extremely individualistic and eclectic movement that allows the seeker to freely assemble his or her own worldview from various religious, philosophical and psychological ideas and practices. On the other hand, it is characterized by an optimistic future orientation, whereas neo-paganism , for example, looks at sources from pre-Christian times.

The new age

Numerous different representations circulated about the New Age ( New Age in the narrower sense) or Aquarian Age as the central vision of the New Age movement. What they all had in common was the basic idea that human culture was in decline and that the New Age would bring an ascent again and change everything for the better. There were many divergent statements in circulation about when this age would begin or had already begun. David Spangler wrote in his influential book Revelation: The Birth of a New Age (1971) that the New Age began as early as Christmas 1967. Another frequently mentioned date was the 16./17. August 1987. The turn of the millennium was mentioned many times, and still other statements moved the beginning of the New Age a few centuries into the future.

The expected changes were extremely diverse, but consistently profound. In the most radical versions, they even affected physical parameters such as gravity or the spectrum of sunlight. Some authors proclaimed the end of the usual physical existence and promised a "heaven on earth". In these cases, the changes from outside should break in on the world and humanity. Such ideas were particularly characteristic of the early New Age; in some countries such as Brazil and Japan they were still very common recently. This contrasted with other visions, according to which the changes should take place externally invisible on an “ethereal level” and / or not caused at all from the outside, but should be brought about solely by a changed consciousness and a changed lifestyle of the people. According to Heelas, the latter visions related to human activity were much more common than those which implied external causation. As a third common version of New Age visions addition to these radical and moderate variants and numerous lying between these extremes forms Hanegraaff difference nor the "pathos of change" (pathos of change) , came in the only sentiments without concrete it was described what the expected changes should be.

The activities with which New Age followers wanted to overcome the crisis of mankind and initiate the New Age were predominantly understood as "inner work" in the sense of an evolution of consciousness. A central idea was the achievement of a critical mass and the resulting chain reaction . This thought can be traced back historically to Lyall Watson's description of the " hundredth monkey "; and Rupert Sheldrake hypothesis of morphic resonance was used. Ideas about how many spiritually collaborating people could form a critical mass ranged from 10 people (David Peat) to 50 million (George Trevelyan).

New Age as a cultural criticism

All varieties of the New Age had in common that they went against the prevailing cultural trends and against modern Western society. The dualistic and reductionist tendencies of modern Western culture were blamed for the crisis the world was in, and the New Age wanted to offer ways to overcome it. Hanegraaff therefore basically called the New Age cultural criticism . This was directed against the dualism in the prevailing, dogmatic understanding of Christianity and against rationalism and scientism , which were seen as the ideology underlying the prevailing understanding of the world. New Age saw itself as a third option that could combine religion and science on a higher level.

Secularized esotericism

In terms of content, the New Age movement mainly took up the traditions of western esotericism of the 18th and 19th centuries, albeit - according to Hanegraaff - in a secularized form. Like traditional esotericism, the New Age also emphasized the importance of personal, inner enlightenment or revelation over reason and denominational belief; however, it linked these syncretistically with modern secular elements such as evolution and psychology, as was already characteristic of western esotericism in the early 20th century. In this respect, the religious substance of the New Age had existed since the early 20th century; According to Hanegraaff, the only new thing was that in the 1970s there was an additional awareness of belonging to a movement.

Topics of the new age market

In 1989 the magazine esotera , which according to the sociologist Horst Stenger represented the new age market at the time, defined the following categories for itself:

  • New thinking and acting,
  • Esoteric life aids,
  • Holistic health,
  • Paranormal phenomena,
  • Primal knowledge of mankind,
  • Spiritual creativity.

A systematic survey in leading New Age bookstores in the Netherlands , supplemented by samples in Germany, France and England, revealed the following key areas in the years 1990–1992:

Another important sector of the New Age market were seminars, which were intended to promote the development of the spirituality of the participants and mostly also contribute to a more successful outer life.


According to New Age followers, channeling is the process of a person acting as a channel (mediator or medium ) for the transmission of information. The sources from which this information or messages should come are mostly higher, non-embodied beings such as God , Jesus , angels , ancient deities, the collective unconscious or nature spirits , in other cases also extraterrestrials or certain animals ( dolphins and other whales ). Often, but not always, the medium is in a trance . The messages are mostly reproduced orally, less often written down by the medium itself. They should serve to impart knowledge and give instructions for action.

Healing in the New Age Context

In a broad sense, as Heelas noted, all of the New Age had to do with healing: healing planet earth, healing capitalist work, healing personality and healing illness in a more traditional sense. Characteristic for New Age is the shift of authority and responsibility from the outside to the inside. In relation to humans, healing in the New Age milieu did not mean curing certain, defined diseases. It dealt with the whole person and especially with his subjective experience, which also included the spiritual dimension and the social environment. The disease and how it was dealt with was given importance , mostly in a spiritual-religious sense. In this, the alternative healing methods of the New Age scene largely coincided with older, pre-modern medical traditions. The spiritual realm was seen as essentially healing. The healing should come from within, from experiencing the natural order as a whole.

Hanegraaff distinguished four main currents of healing in the New Age: the human potential movement , holistic medicine , transpersonal psychology and shamanic consciousness. The starting point of the human potential movement was the conviction that modern society alienates people from their true selves and prevents them from developing their natural potential. In order to be really "healthy", he must find his suppressed self again. The origins of this movement lie in the sensitivity training of the late 1940s, from which group therapy emerged in the 1960s . Under the influence of bioenergetics and Gestalt therapy , numerous methods of " body work " developed. In the 1970s the term “human potential” , coined by Abraham Maslow , became common, while the originally psychotherapeutic movement under the influence of Eastern religions and with the addition of the transpersonal perspective received a strong spiritual-religious orientation and an expansion of consciousness towards the transcendent at the center of the Aspirations moved forward.

As a “fourth force”, transpersonal psychology should complement positivistic or behavioristic psychology (first force), psychoanalysis (second force) and humanistic psychology (third force). She views religious and mystical experiences as a separate, higher realm of consciousness and is dedicated to exploring it, using psychedelic drugs and other "mind-expanding" techniques. New Age shamanism is closely related to transpersonal psychology . Here the traditional techniques of the shamans are used to change the consciousness, but in contrast to the tradition not only by specialists, as the shamanic consciousness should be accessible to everyone. This consciousness should make it possible to associate with spirits, gods and non-embodied souls. Another difference to traditional shamanism is that New Age shamans strive to rise into a supernatural world in a trance and reject the reverse process of being possessed by ghosts, which is just as important in traditional shamanism .

Holistic medicine is opposed to these currents, which are primarily oriented towards the psyche , in that it focuses more on the body. But since the human being is viewed as a unity of body and different levels of the psychic and spiritual, these "higher" levels also acquire great importance when looking at physical illnesses, in that psychological factors such as stress are identified as the causes of physical illnesses and accordingly also those Therapy starts with the psyche. In this perspective , every person is responsible for his or her health or illness, and the latter is viewed as a challenge to recognize a deeper meaning. As a result, therapy is also individual and not geared towards abstract diseases. Holistic medicine is closely linked to the human potential movement, and both developed in close interaction, although holistic medicine goes back further in its origins. Recently, traditional Chinese medicine and Japanese Reiki have become very popular.

According to the New Agers, the healing of the earth should begin with a change in one's own consciousness. The book Small is Beautiful - A Study of Economics as if People Mattered (1973) by the German-British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher , in which he developed a “ Buddhist economy ”, the foundation of deep ecology by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss , gave important impulses (1972) and the coining of the term “ ecofeminism ” by Françoise d'Eaubonne (1974).


Werner Erhard

Former Scientology supporter Jack Rosenberg alias Werner Erhard, who founded the “Erhard Seminars Training” (est) in 1971 and found numerous imitators, is considered a key figure in the “seminar spirituality” of the New Age . Paul Heelas estimated in 1996 that by then at least five million people had attended est and similar seminars. In contrast to the dropout tendencies of the early New Age and the protest movement, these seminars promised not only the spiritual development of the participants but also positive effects on success in material terms, and from the mid-1980s special events for managers and other business people were a focus of the New Age seminar system. Business enterprises such as General Motors and Lockheed were also involved in the organization and financing of such events ; American business community spending on New Age seminars was estimated at $ 4 billion a year in the 1980s. In addition, a corresponding range of books especially for business people was established.

Erhard's seminars drew a lot of attention (in the USA), partly because of the drastic methods reminiscent of Scientology, but partly also because of the popularity of sympathizers such as John Denver . The declared aim of the seminars was personal success ("to get it") , and the basic postulate of the est "philosophy" was that every person creates his own reality and is therefore solely responsible for the circumstances in which he lives. Those who did not achieve what they wanted to achieve had a "problem" which they were faced with in a dramatic way. This included, for example, the deprivation of sleep and other "supposed necessities" in order to "realize" their dispensability, and the confrontation with the greatest personal fears. After “the problem was identified” in this way, the est philosophy was offered to overcome it, which was entirely oriented towards “feeling” and “action” . In a scientific study of such seminars, many participants stated that the seminar had changed their lives, but were consistently unable to specify what that change was.

New Age Science

Fritjof Capra (2010)

The relationship between the New Age milieu and science was ambivalent. While academic rationalism was rejected or viewed negatively and traditional natural science was condemned as materialistic, reductionistic and inhuman, some developments in modern natural science, namely theoretical physics , met with great approval, as the New Agers saw in them a paradigm shift that materialism and overcome reductionism and open up a holistic perspective in which a spiritual worldview is justified. These interpretations of scientific findings have been summarized as "New Age Science". Supporters and critics agreed that they contradicted the scientific “mainstream”. Critics have therefore assigned them to the “ frontier sciences ” or “ pseudosciences ”; the protagonists, on the other hand, saw themselves as the avant-garde of scientific progress and as pioneers on the way to a radically new worldview. In some cases they were recognized specialists who had made significant contributions to basic research ( David Bohm , Ilya Prigogine ), others had given up their scientific careers and became successful book authors ( Fritjof Capra , Rupert Sheldrake ). In principle, they shared the search for a more comprehensive understanding of the world with mainstream physicists such as Stephen Hawking , but while Hawking and others wanted to undermine (Christian) belief in God and all metaphysics with the desired Grand Unified Theory , New Age Science, conversely, propagated omnipresence of the divine in the cosmos. Since this fundamental difference relates to the interpretation of scientific results and not to the latter itself, Hanegraaff suggested that "New Age Science" should be viewed as natural philosophy, despite the incorrect designation science (= natural science) . He distinguished five main directions: the " holographic paradigm" (Bohm, Karl Pribram ), the "paradigm of self-organization " (Prigogine et al.), The hypothesis of " formative causation " ( formative causation , Sheldrake), the Gaia hypothesis ( James Lovelock ) and Capra's "parallelism".


There is no reliable data on the size of the New Age following. One reason for this is the vagueness of the term “New Age”; there is also the fact that it was often rejected as a self-designation and was more commonly used as an external attribution. Estimates of the US following in the late 1970s to early 1990s varied from 20,000 to 60 million.

Shirley MacLaine (1987)

The term "New Age" established itself as a successful category in the book trade in the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, the mass media (newspapers, magazines, television) began to take up the New Age phenomenon, initially adopting an ambivalent position and gradually adopting a negative position. The five-hour, autobiographical TV film Out on a Limb by popular actress Shirley MacLaine , which was broadcast on ABC in 1987 and dealt with MacLaine's " conversion " to the New Age, was very influential . Lewis and Melton describe this TV miniseries as the standout event that first attracted widespread attention to the New Age in North America. The resulting presence of rather trivial aspects of the New Age in the mass media, however, led other representatives of the New Age to distance themselves from this designation . As early as the early 1990s, “New Age” had acquired such a negative image for this and other reasons that book publishers began to replace this category with other names.

Of great importance for the reception of the New Age were the reactions it triggered in Christian milieus and institutions. These reactions were mostly negative, often ambivalent and occasionally positive. An early publication that received widespread attention among English-speaking Christians was The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow by Constance Cumbey (1983). Cumbey described the New Age as an organized movement with the aim of establishing a world government and made historical references to the Nazi state . In their bestseller The New Spirituality (1988), Dave Hunt and TA McMahon linked New Age with Satanism , reported rumors of human sacrifice in satanist communities, picked up the motif of rock music popular among Christians as an instrument of evil and also drew links to National Socialism . In the early 1990s, Kemp noted, the New Age had replaced secular humanism as the main enemy of traditional Christianity. The major Christian churches were more cautious in their official statements than the aforementioned authors, but often based their knowledge of the New Age on decidedly negative secondary literature. This is not the case with a position paper published by the Vatican in 2003 , which is based on reputable scientific sources and, according to Kemp, gives a “very good” description of the New Age. Following this, the Vatican comes to the judgment that the New Age views are incompatible with those of the Catholic Church , especially with regard to the understanding of Jesus Christ .


Primary sources

  • William Bloom (Ed.): The New Age - An Anthology of Essential Writing , London 1991
  • Fritjof Capra : The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture , 1982; German: Wendezeit , 1983, numerous new editions, current paperback edition 2004
  • Marilyn Ferguson: The Aquarian Conspiracy , 1980; German: The gentle conspiracy , Basel 1982
  • Willis Harman: Global Mind Change - The Promise of the Last Years of the Twentieth Century , Indianapolis 1988
  • James R. Lewis (Ed.): The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of New Age Religions , 2004
  • Peter Russell: The Awakening Earth - The Global Brain , 1982; German: The awakening earth - our next evolutionary leap , 1984
  • David Spangler : Revelation - The Birth of a New Age , 1971; German: New Age - the birth of a new age , Frankfurt / Main 1978
  • David Spangler: The Rebirth of the Sacred , London 1984
  • George Trevelyan: A Vision of the Aquarian Age , 1977 ( online ); German: A vision of the age of Aquarius , Freiburg 1980

Secondary literature

  • Christoph Bochinger: "New Age" and modern religion - analyzes of religious studies , Gütersloh 1994, 2nd edition Munich 1995
  • Dominic Corrywright: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations into New Age Spiritualities , Oxford 2003
  • Herbert Graf: The "New Age" movement: roots, basic features, practices (=  Exordia . No. 2 ). Be & Be-Verlag, Heiligenkreuz 2017, ISBN 978-3-903118-21-8 .
  • Wouter J. Hanegraaff : New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought , Leiden 1996, reprinted Albany NY 1998
  • Paul Heelas: The New Age Movement: The Celebration of the Self and the Sacralization of Modernity , Oxford & Cambridge 1996, 6th ed. 2005
  • Ders .: Spiritualities of Life: New Age Romanticism and Consumptive Capitalism , 2008
  • David J. Hess: Science and the New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders and Debunkers, and American Culture , Madison 1993
  • Daren Kemp: New Age: A Guide , Edinburgh 2004
  • Daren Kemp, James R. Lewis: Handbook of New Age , Leiden 2007
  • Richard Kyle: The New Age Movement in American Culture , Lanham 1995
  • James R. Lewis, J. Gordon Melton (Eds.): Perspectives on the New Age , Albany 1992
  • Ernest Lucas: Science and the New Age Challenge , Leicester 1996
  • J. Gordon Melton, Gerome Clark, Aidan A. Kelly (Eds.): New Age Almanac , Detroit 1991
  • Mikael Rothstein (Ed.): New Age Religion and Globalization , Aarhus 2001
  • Horst Stenger: The social construction of occult reality - A sociology of the "New Age" , Opladen 1993
  • Steven Sutcliffe: Children of the New Age: A History of Spiritual Practices , London 2002
  • Hugh Urban: New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements. Alternative Spirituality in Contemporary America . University of California Press, Berkeley 2015, ISBN 978-0-520-96212-5 .
  • Michael York: The Emerging Network: A Sociology of the New Age and Neo-Pagan Movements , London 1995

reference books

Web links

Commons : New Age  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Kocku von Stuckrad : What is esotericism? , 2004, p. 228; Paul Heelas: The New Age Movement - The Celebration of the Self and the Sacralization of Modernity , Oxford 1996, p. 17. See also Wallace Martin: “The New Age” Under Orage: Chapters in English Cultural History , Manchester 1967; Robert Scholes: General Introduction to The New Age 1907-1922 ; The New Age 1907-1922 online
  2. ^ Wouter J. Hanegraaff : New Age Religion and Western Culture - Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought , Leiden 1996, p. 1; Stuckrad, p. 227
  3. ^ Hans Sebald: New Age Romanticism: The Quest for an Alternative Lifestyle as a Force of Social Change , Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 11/2 (1984), pp. 106-127; reported and discussed in Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 369–371
  4. Christof Schorsch: The New Age Movement: Utopia and Myth of the New Age - A critical discussion , Gütersloh 1988; reported and discussed in Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 371–373
  5. Christoph Bochinger: "New Age" and modern religion - religious studies studies , Gütersloh 1994, lecture and discussion in Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 377-380; Quotation from Bochinger: Reinkarnationsidee and “New Age” , in Perry Schmidt-Leukel (Ed.): The idea of ​​reincarnation in East and West , Munich 1996, pp. 115–130, here p. 118
  6. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 10-12
  7. Bochinger 1996, p. 116
  8. Stuckrad, pp. 227-229; see also Hanegraaff 1996, note 49, p. 17, and Bochinger 1996, p. 116
  9. So in J. Gordon Melton: The New Age Movement , in Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America , New York a. London 1986, pp. 163-180; ders .: A History of the New Age Movement , in Robert Basil (Ed.): Not Necessarily the New Age - Critical Essays , Buffalo / New York 1988, pp. 35–53. Hanegraaff 1996, p 384-513, provides the historical context since the Renaissance is
  10. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 94-97
  11. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 97f and 377-380; Heelas, pp. 61-68; Schorsch, p. 9
  12. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke : In the shadow of the black sun - Aryan cults, esoteric National Socialism and the politics of demarcation , Wiesbaden 2009, pp. 552-565; see also Eduard Gugenberger, Frank Petri, Roman Schweidlenka: World Conspiracy Theories : The New Danger From Right , Vienna 1998
  13. Stuckrad, pp. 227-229
  14. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 38f
  15. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 105f; A Vision of the Aquarian Age online
  16. Sphinx, Basel 1982 with a foreword by Fritjof Capra
  17. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 97 and 106f
  18. Scherz-Verlag, Bern 1983 (revised and expanded 1985), ISBN 3-426-77706-1
  19. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 107f; Schorsch, p. 17
  20. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 109f
  21. Heelas, pp. 51-53
  22. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 365f
  23. More detailed in Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 113–119, based on Arthur O. Lovejoy
  24. More details in Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 119–158
  25. More details in Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 158–168
  26. See also Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 204–245 and Heelas, pp. 2 and 18–36; Heelas presents "self-spirituality" as the fundamental theme of all varieties of New Age
  27. Daren Kemp: New Age - A Guide , Edinburgh 2004, pp. 54–58
  28. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 183-186
  29. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 256-259, Kemp, pp. 58-60. See also Tony Walter: Death in the New Age , Religion 23 (1993), 127-145
  30. Heelas, p. 37f
  31. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 455-462 and 517; Andrea Grace Diem and James R. Lewis: Imagining India: The Influence of Hinduism on the New Age Movement , in James R. Lewis & J. Gordon Melton: Perspectives on the New Age , Albany NY 1992, pp. 48-58
  32. ^ Hugh Urban: New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements. Alternative Spirituality in Contemporary America . University of California Press, Berkeley 2015, ISBN 978-0-520-96212-5 , p. 221 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  33. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 331-336
  34. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 96f and 336-344; Heelas, pp. 74-76
  35. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 348-352
  36. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 514-517. On the relationship between the New Age and the modern see also Heelas, pp. 135–177
  37. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 517-522. See also Hanegraaff: New Age Religion and Secularization , in: Numen 47/3 (2000), pp. 288-312; Steve Bruce: The New Age and Secularization , in Steven Sutcliffe, Marion Bowman (eds.): Beyond New Age: Exploring Alternative Spirituality , Edinburgh 2000, pp. 220-236
  38. Horst Stenger: The social construction of occult reality - A sociology of the "New Age" , 1993, p. 27
  39. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 19f
  40. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 77-93
  41. Heelas, pp. 58-61
  42. Hanegraaff 1996, p. 23f. See also Suzanne Riordan: Channeling: A New Revelation? , in Lewis & Melton 1992, pp. 105-126
  43. Heelas, pp. 80-84; Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 42-44. Rosalind Coward: The Whole Truth - Myth of Alternative Health , 1990 gives an overview of alternative healing methods in the context of the (English-speaking) New Age
  44. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 48-50. See also Neville Drury: The Elements of Human Potential , Shaftesbury 1989; Carl A. Raschke: The Human Potential Movement , Theology Today 33 (1976), pp. 253-262; Donald Stone: The Human Potential Movement , in Charles Y. Glock, Robert N. Bellah: The New Religious Consciousness , Berkeley 1976, pp. 93-115
  45. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 50-53. See also Ronald S. Valle: The Emergence of Transpersonal Psychology , in Ronald S. Valle, Steen Halling (eds.): Existential-Phenomenological Perspectives in Psychology , London 1989, pp. 257-267; Nevill Drury: The Elements of Shamanism , Shaftesbury 1989; Hartmut Zinser: Shamanism in the “New Age”: On the return of shamanistic practices and séances in Europe , Journal for Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 39 (1987), pp. 319–327
  46. Hanegraaff, pp. 53-55; Kemp, p. 30f. A popular example from the German-speaking book market is Thorwald Dethlefsen , Ruediger Dahlke : Illness as a Way , 1983, current edition 2008
  47. Heelas, pp. 84-87. See also Françoise d'Eaubonne: Le Féminisme ou la Mort , Paris 1974, German Feminism or Death - Thesen zur Ökologiedebatte , 1975, 2nd edition 1977, and Arne Næss: The Shallow and the Deep. Long-range Ecology Movement: a Summary , Inquiry 16 (1), pp. 95-100 (1973)
  48. Heelas, pp. 58-66 and 111f; Glenn A. Rupert, Employing the New Age: Training Seminars , in Lewis & Melton 1992, pp. 127-135
  49. Rupert, pp. 128-135. See also Leonard L. Glass, Michael A. Kirsch: Psychiatric Disturbances Associated with Erhard Seminars Training , American Journal of Psychiatry 134, pp. 245ff (1977); Janice Haaken, Richard Adams: Pathology as 'Personal Growth': A Participant-Observation Study of Lifespring Training , Psychiatry 46, 270 (1983)
  50. Hanegraaff 1996, pp. 62-67. See also John P. Briggs, F. David Peat: Looking Glass Universe - The Emerging Science of Wholeness , New York 1984; Burkhard Gladigow: Pantheism as a "religion" by natural scientists , in Peter Antes, Donate Pahnke (ed.): The religion of upper layers, Marburg 1989, pp. 219–239; David Ray Griffin (Ed.): The Reenchantment of Science - Postmodern Proposals , Albany 1988; Patrick Grim: Quantum mysticism , in Philosophy of Science and the Occult , Albany 1990; Hansjörg Hemmering: About Faith and Doubt - The New Age in Natural Science , in The Return of the Magician: New Age - a Critique , Reinbek 1987, pp. 115-185; David Hess: Science in the New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders and Debunkers, and American Culture , Madison 1993; Hans-Dieter Mutschler: Physics - Religion - New Age , Würzburg 1990; John M. Templeton, Robert L. Herrmann: The God Who would be known - Revelations of the Divine in Contemporary Science , San Francisco 1989
  51. Heelas, pp. 109-113
  52. Kemp, p. 132. See also Christoph Bochinger: "New Age" and modern religion - religious studies studies , Gütersloh 1994, lectured and discussed in Hanegraaff 1996, and Henry Gordon: Channeling into the New Age: The 'Teachings' of Shirley MacLaine and Other Such Gurus , Buffalo NY 1988
  53. Kemp, pp. 130-133; James R. Lewis & J. Gordon Melton: Perspectives on the New Age , Albany NY 1992, pp. Ix-x
  54. Kemp, pp. 133-137. See also the statements of the Vatican in German translation and the Catholic Bible work in Linz and Irving Hexham: The Evangelical Response to the New Age , in Lewis & Melton 1992, pp. 152–163. Other publications that are decidedly negative (in addition to those mentioned in the article) are Douglas R. Groothuis: Unmasking the New Age , Leicester 1986, Confronting the New Age , Leicester 1988, and Revealing the New Age Jesus , Leicester 1990, and Walter Martin: The New Age Cult , Minneapolis 1989. Daren Kemp describes examples of positive reactions among Christians: The Christaquarians? A Sociology of Christians in the New Age , London 2003
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