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9 - The holistic milieu in context: between traditional Christianity and folk religiosity

from Part II - Comparing New Age beliefs and practices

Dorota Hall
Affiliation:
Poland
Steven J. Sutcliffe
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Ingvild Sælid Gilhus
Affiliation:
University of Bergen, Norway
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Summary

This chapter addresses the holistic milieu and spiritual practices in Poland. It aims at highlighting local peculiarities of holistic phenomena related to the strength of traditional models of religiosity in this country. It goes on to claim that due to the lack of explicit challenge posed to the Catholic Church and Catholicism's dependence on mainstream religious patterns, the examples of the wider milieu discussed here cannot be understood as promoting a fully alternative spiritual culture. They should rather be seen as embedded in Catholic folk religiosity.

My argument starts with a discussion of the importance of Catholic self-identification for those interested in holism, the minor attention the latter give to modern individualistic trends, and the entrenching of their practices in traditional ways of getting in contact with the sacred. Subsequently, the chapter refers to existing academic considerations on the nature of “New Age” and new spiritualities and shows problems with their applicability to the Polish context, suggesting instead – although with important reservations – the use of the notion of “folk religiosity”. The final section returns to the evidence from the researched field on the embedding of new spiritual developments in mainstream religion, in order to show the discursive strategy used by Polish promoters of holism, which reveals their surrender to the authority of the Church.

Type
Chapter
Information
New Age Spirituality
Rethinking Religion
, pp. 146 - 159
Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2013

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