Perspectives on the New Age

Edited by James R. Lewis & J. Gordon Melton

Subjects: New Age
Series: SUNY series in Religious Studies
Paperback : 9780791412145, 384 pages, November 1992
Hardcover : 9780791412138, 384 pages, November 1992

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Table of contents


1. Approaches to the Study of the New Age Movement
James R. Lewis

I. Historical Roots

2. New Thought and the New Age
J. Gordon Melton

3. Roots of the New Age
Kay Alexander

4. Imagining India: The Influence of Hinduism on the New Age Movement
Andrea Grace Diem and James R. Lewis

5. How New is the New Age?
Robert Ellwood

6. The Magical Staff: Quantum Healing in the New Age
Catherine L. Albanese

II. Aspects Of The New Age

7. Baby Boomers, American Character, and the New Age: A Synthesis
Susan Love Brown

8. Myth, Metaphor, and Manifestation: The Negotiation of Belief in a New Age Community
Stephen M. Clark

9. Channeling: A New Revelation?
Suzanne Riordan

10. Employing the New Age: Training Seminars
Glenn A. Rupert

11. An Update on Neopagan Witchcraft in America
Aidan A. Kelly

12. The Evangelical Response to the New Age
Irving Hexham

III. Comparative Studies

13. The New Age Movement and Feminist Spirituality: Overlapping Conversations at the End of the Century
Mary Farrell Bednarowski

14. Who Holds the Cards? Women and New Age Astrology
Shoshanah Feher

15. The New Age Movement and the Pentecostal/Charismatic Revival: Distinct Yet Parallel Phases of a Fourth Great Awakening?
Phillip C. Lucas

IV. International Dimensions

16. New Age Trends in Nigeria: Ancestral and/or Alien Religion?
Rosalind L J. Hackett

17. Japan's New Age and Neo-New Religions: Sociological Interpretations
Mark R. Mullins

18. The "Newness" of the New Age in South Africa and Reactions to It
Gerhardus C. Oosthuizen

19. Alternative Spirituality in Italy
Isotta Poggi






This book begins with a comprehensive historical section that places the New Age within the context of its predecessor movements. It then focuses on specialized aspects of this subculture, from essays on the convergence of New Age spirituality with women's spirituality, to an essay on how Evangelical Christians have responded to the movement. The book also examines the international impact of the New Age.

James R. Lewis is Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of American Religion, Santa Barbara, CA. J. Gordon Melton is Director of the Santa Barbara Centre for Humanistic Studies, Santa Barbara, CA.


"By the end of the book, the reader will have received a comprehensive education concerning the New Age Movement—what it includes and what people inside it and outside it think about it. " — Donald Evans, University of Toronto

"What is distinctive about this book is that it proceeds from a well-defined historical orientation, it offers accounts from several perspectives on significant popular phenomena in the present-day, and it anticipates future directions by means of its attention to comparative and international aspects of the subject. This is a very ambitious project that has been well-designed and effectively done.

"This book has not only made an important contribution to our understanding of "new age" phenomena, it also has taken study of the subject to a higher level and will attract new participants into the discussion. " — Gene R. Thursby, University of Florida

"It is the first major study of what may well be the most important development in contemporary western religion. It will in itself establish a new field within religious studies. I would not be surprised to see courses develop with this book as the core reading. " — Jordan Paper, York University