What Is New Age?




Rose, Joshua D

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The aim of this thesis is to explain the nature and ideological structure of the religious sub-culture of new age in America. Ethnographic data was gathered from conducting interviews and through participant observation in the towns of Lily Dale, NY and Mount Shasta, CA during the summers of 2008 and 2009. Literary research was conducted from academic as well as non-academic 'new age' sources. This thesis concludes that new age belief systems possess three key characteristics: they are alternative; they are ecosophical; they have a decentralized structure (both in its beliefs and in its leadership style). Furthermore, the ideological structure of new age is nebulous, and without a core, presenting itself as a cultural phenomenon that is impossible to define, while the groupings of beliefs in it have distinct characteristics: a cultural paradox.



New Age, Spirituality, Lily Dale, Mount Shasta, Anthropology of religion, Extraterrestrial