New Age spirituality: an overview. What is new about New Age? What does the New Age claim to offer?
Enchantment: There Must be an Angel 2. Harmony and Understanding: Good Vibrations 2. Health: Golden Living 2. Wholeness: A Magical Mystery Tour. The fundamental principles of New Age thinking 2. A global response in a time of crisis 2. The essential matrix of New Age thinking 2. Central themes of the New Age 2.
What does New Age say about Why has New Age grown so rapidly and spread so effectively? New Age and Christian faith. New Age as spirituality 3. Spiritual narcissism?
The Cosmic Christ 3. Christian mysticism and New Age mysticism 3.
The God within and theosis. New Age and Christian faith in contrast. Jesus Christ offers us the water of life. Guidance and sound formation are needed 6. Practical steps. Some brief formulations of New Age ideas 7.
Key New Age places. Documents of the Catholic Church's Magisterium 8. Christian studies. Some New Age books 9.
Historical, descriptive and analytical works. The study is a provisional report. It is the fruit of the common reflection of the Working Group on New Religious Movements, composed of staff members of different dicasteries of the Holy See: the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Interreligious Dialogue which are the principal redactors for this project , the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. These reflections are offered primarily to those engaged in pastoral work so that they might be able to explain how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith.
This study invites readers to take account of the way that New Age religiosity addresses the spiritual hunger of contemporary men and women. It should be recognized that the attraction that New Age religiosity has for some Christians may be due in part to the lack of serious attention in their own communities for themes which are actually part of the Catholic synthesis such as the importance of man' spiritual dimension and its integration with the whole of life, the search for life's meaning, the link between human beings and the rest of creation, the desire for personal and social transformation, and the rejection of a rationalistic and materialistic view of humanity.
The present publication calls attention to the need to know and understand New Age as a cultural current, as well as the need for Catholics to have an understanding of authentic Catholic doctrine and spirituality in order to properly assess New Age themes. The first two chapters present New Age as a multifaceted cultural tendency, proposing an analysis of the basic foundations of the thought conveyed in this context. From Chapter Three onwards some indications are offered for an investigation of New Age in comparison with the Christian message.
Some suggestions of a pastoral nature are also made. Those who wish to go deeper into the study of New Age will find useful references in the appendices. It is hoped that this work will in fact provide a stimulus for further studies adapted to different cultural contexts. Its purpose is also to encourage discernment by those who are looking for sound reference points for a life of greater fulness. It is indeed our conviction that through many of our contemporaries who are searching, we can discover a true thirst for God. The following reflections are meant as a guide for Catholics involved in preaching the Gospel and teaching the faith at any level within the Church.
This document does not aim at providing a set of complete answers to the many questions raised by the New Age or other contemporary signs of the perennial human search for happiness, meaning and salvation. It is an invitation to understand the New Age and to engage in a genuine dialogue with those who are influenced by New Age thought. The document guides those involved in pastoral work in their understanding and response to New Age spirituality, both illustrating the points where this spirituality contrasts with the Catholic faith and refuting the positions espoused by New Age thinkers in opposition to Christian faith.
What is indeed required of Christians is, first and foremost, a solid grounding in their faith. These reflections are about the New Age , which takes its name from the imminent astrological Age of Aquarius. The New Age is one of many explanations of the significance of this moment in history which are bombarding contemporary particularly western culture, and it is hard to see clearly what is and what is not consistent with the Christian message. So this seems to be the right moment to offer a Christian assessment of New Age thinking and the New Age movement as a whole.
It has been said, quite correctly, that many people hover between certainty and uncertainty these days, particularly in questions relating to their identity. The fact that what were once central elements in society are now perceived as untrustworthy or lacking in genuine authority has created a climate where people look inwards, into themselves, for meaning and strength. There is also a search for alternative institutions, which people hope will respond to their deepest needs.
New Age is attractive mainly because so much of what it offers meets hungers often left unsatisfied by the established institutions. While much of New Age is a reaction to contemporary culture, there are many ways in which it is that culture's child. With this cult of humanity, religion is internalised in a way which prepares the ground for a celebration of the sacredness of the self.
Thus, using the data from the BOLD fMRI study with psilocybin, we recently looked at changes in the variance of intra-network synchrony over time in nine canonical resting-state networks Smith et al. Your belief in your spell is the best assurance of success. Basically, New Age has found a remarkable level of acceptance because the world-view on which it was based was already widely accepted. This is a wonderful book! This exaltation of humanity overturns the correct relationship between Creator and creature, and one of its extreme forms is Satanism. Astrology About Astrology.
The important thing to note is that God is reduced in certain New Age practices so as furthering the advancement of the individual. New Age appeals to people imbued with the values of modern culture. Freedom, authenticity, self-reliance and the like are all held to be sacred. It appeals to those who have problems with patriarchy. But here is a central question: just what is meant by spirituality in a New Age context? The answer is the key to unlocking some of the differences between the Christian tradition and much of what can be called New Age.
Some versions of New Age harness the powers of nature and seek to communicate with another world to discover the fate of individuals, to help individuals tune in to the right frequency to make the most of themselves and their circumstances. In most cases, it is completely fatalistic. The technological revolution in communications over the last few years has brought about a completely new situation.
The ease and speed with which people can now communicate is one of the reasons why New Age has come to the attention of people of all ages and backgrounds, and many who follow Christ are not sure what it is all about. The Internet, in particular, has become enormously influential, especially with younger people, who find it a congenial and fascinating way of acquiring information.
People need, and have a right to, reliable information on the differences between Christianity and New Age. When one examines many New Age traditions, it soon becomes clear that there is, in fact, little in the New Age that is new. The name seems to have gained currency through Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, at the time of the French and American Revolutions, but the reality it denotes is a contemporary variant of Western esotericism. This dates back to Gnostic groups which grew up in the early days of Christianity, and gained momentum at the time of the Reformation in Europe.
It has grown in parallel with scientific world-views, and acquired a rational justification through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It has involved a progressive rejection of a personal God and a focus on other entities which would often figure as intermediaries between God and humanity in traditional Christianity, with more and more original adaptations of these or additional ones. A powerful trend in modern Western culture which has given space to New Age ideas is the general acceptance of Darwinist evolutionary theory; this, alongside a focus on hidden spiritual powers or forces in nature, has been the backbone of much of what is now recognised as New Age theory.
Basically, New Age has found a remarkable level of acceptance because the world-view on which it was based was already widely accepted.
The ground was well prepared by the growth and spread of relativism, along with an antipathy or indifference towards the Christian faith. Furthermore, there has been a lively discussion about whether and in what sense New Age can be described as a postmodern phenomenon. The existence and fervor of New Age thinking and practice bear witness to the unquenchable longing of the human spirit for transcendence and religious meaning, which is not only a contemporary cultural phenomenon, but was evident in the ancient world, both Christian and pagan.
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The New Age and Catholic Faith. Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation. On the one hand, new forms of psychological affirmation of the individual have be.
At the same time there is increasing nostalgia and curiosity for the wisdom and ritual of long ago, which is one of the reasons for the remarkable growth in the popularity of esotericism and gnosticism. But the links with those religions are not always clear. In fact, they are often denied. An adequate Christian discernment of New Age thought and practice cannot fail to recognize that, like second and third century gnosticism, it represents something of a compendium of positions that the Church has identified as heterodox.
Gnosticism never completely abandoned the realm of Christianity. The appeal of New Age religiosity cannot be underestimated. When the understanding of the content of Christian faith is weak, some mistakenly hold that the Christian religion does not inspire a profound spirituality and so they seek elsewhere. But bookshops and radio stations, and the plethora of self-help groups in so many Western towns and cities, all seem to tell a different story.
It seems that, at least for the moment, the New Age is still very much alive and part of the current cultural scene. The success of New Age offers the Church a challenge. The search which often leads people to the New Age is a genuine yearning: for a deeper spirituality, for something which will touch their hearts, and for a way of making sense of a confusing and often alienating world.