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Contemporary 'spiritual' practices: Ethnographic and comparative approaches of a transnational field [Contemporary 'Spiritual' Practices Network] 
Thomas Witzeling (University of Lausanne)
Sara Le Menestrel (CNRS)
Nicolas Boissière (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Marie Mazzella di Bosco (Paris Nanterre University - LESC)
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Main Site Tower (MST), 01/004
Tuesday 26 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The focus given on the circulation of contemporary 'spiritual' practices, their interconnections through transnational movements, and the different ways in which they relate to and/or engage with the networks in which they are situated, aims to highlight the transversal dynamics at stake.

Long Abstract:

Situated at the crossroads of therapy, science and politics, the field of "contemporary spiritualities" challenges analytical frameworks as demonstrated by the debates around its designation itself (New Age, Self Religion, Western Esotericism, etc.) and the eclectic practices it covers, from neo-paganism to eco-spirituality, from neo-traditional movements to alternative medicine. Beyond these wide-range practices, contemporary spiritual practices share commonalities through an emphasis on individual and collective transformation, holistic therapy, cosmic energy, the body, and the sacredness of nature.

This panel will be focused on the circulation of contemporary spiritual practices and on their interconnections through transnational movements. It will emphasize ethnographic studies and historical perspectives essential to the understanding of the global deployment of spiritual practices. We will give particular attention to the context of their emergence, and the different ways in which they relate to and/or engage with the networks - spiritual, therapeutic, medical, environmental, political, etc. - in which they are situated in an effort to highlight the transversal dynamics at stake.

We welcome proposals based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and/or historical studies which will focus on the identification of distinctive mechanisms of circulation through the study of circuits of practices. Key places such as festivals, conferences, workshops, training programs, websites, among other forms, will highlight the complementary uses of those practices, their continuities and the porosity of their networks.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -