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East_Comes_West_Outline - New Religious Movements East...

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New Religious Movements: East Comes West—Buddhism in America American Baby boomers born b/t 1946-1964- 3 patterns of change in fairly recent time: Recent transformations in the American religious landscape (1) Re-emergence of “spirituality”- the term spiritual not religious more then 1 and 5 Americans prefer to use in describing themselves. If you look at dictionary def. of religious: exhibiting the spiritual or practical effects of religion. Spiritual is defined by use or religion and vice versa. Term spiritual reemerged in 1980’s and 1990’s, idea of spirituality have taken on all types of meanings, people take on creation spiritualities, feminist spiritualities, new age spiritualities or native American spiritualities, or eastern spiritualities. Primary focus: using the term spirituality – emphasis on personal experience, rejection of creedal religion, rejection of institutional religion. Religion means whatever you want it to mean. Terms used: religious lifestyle-characterized by being on a spiritual path or pilgrimage. Idea is some kind of connection to the divine. For many, the upside of this is that the divine is found within. Some have called this spiritual tourism- you observe/adapt some aspects of religion. Unmoored spirituality- not tied down to any specific tradition. Characteristics/Beliefs of New Age movement- New Age Movement-1. Movement in the direction of overcoming old dualisms What kind of dualisms characterized western culture and western religious thinking? divine human(subject-object split) mind-body humans – a whole person had a physical health as well as a spiritual health (whole < health holy) biofeedback- measure what’s going on in your brain, meditative practices-zen, people who embrace a meditative practice-body is just as critical as the mind, which is why people engage in zazen practices 2.immanence- notion of the divine in all things, refers to that which is below and within, idea is that the divine dwell both in nature and soul of humans 3. all things are inter-related- entire universe is a web of the world, nothing happens in isolation- let to a concern of ecology or creation 4. New age movement or spirituality places its emphasis on the individual- begins with the individual and individual transformation. Transformation of the self will lead to transformation of the culture and eventual transformation of planet. ‘Authentic self’, lots of language of psychology 5. many embrace some form or idea of reincarnation, karma – 1 in 5 believe in reincarnation of some kind. (2) Pluralism- two ways in which this term is understood. One way is viewing religious pluralism as a fact -lots of different religions in the US. Old consensus- Protestant, Catholic, Jew (challenged) there is a greater religious pluralism. Pluralism is a fact, but it’s also a value - see religious pluralism as a good thing – from the perspective of many new agers and others the argument is that there is underlying unity to all religions. Celebrate the diversity around us.
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(3) Blending of faiths- represents a personal pluralism.
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