This panel explores spirituality as a reflection of contemporary society. We ask how people understand spirituality as a particular kind of transformative knowledge and examine how it penetrates the shifting religious narratives, discourses and worldviews of today's transnational and glocal world.
Today, we are witnessing a vibrant transformation of both society and religiosity. The discourse of individual "spirituality" is subjugating the discourse of institutional "religion". Recently, some scholars have suggested replacing the model of the postmodern "spiritual supermarket" by a globalized "new age doxa", embedded in the tradition of Western Esotericism. In this panel, we discuss spirituality(ies) as a reflection of contemporary society. We track the ways in which people understand spirituality as a particular kind of knowledge and experience, mostly in terms of personal or global transformation, and examine how it penetrates the shifting religious narratives, discourses and worldviews of today's transnational and glocal world. Thus, we are interested in spirituality as something that is changing its practitioners' lives while its very meaning is also changing.
This panel welcomes all empirical and theoretical contributions that further our understanding of the current spirituality discourse(s). The topic can be studied on New Age or nature based communities in particular, but also on popular and vernacular culture in general, both in and outside Europe (for instance on Neo-Pagan, Neo-Nativist, Neo-Indian or other indigenous narratives). We ask how adherents of spirituality and mainstream society interact and coproduce each other; how the motives of both Christian esoteric traditions and world's indigenous cultures are picked and creatively adapted, reconstructed or invented; how intermixtures of diverse cultures produce new syncretic/hybrid vocabularies; how spirituality is imagined, lived and sensed in the everyday; how it promotes collectivity, social binding and solidarity; how it deals with uncertainty, precariousness and anxiety.