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The Re-enchantment of the West


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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part 1: The Disenchantment And Re-enchantment Of The West 1. The Disenchantment of the West; Types of Secularization; Max Weber and the Disenchantment of the World; What Secularization is Not; Rationalization and Pluralism; Conclusion; 2. Understanding New Religions and Alternative Spiritualities; Max Weber on Sectarianism and Charisma; Ernst Troeltsch on Churches, Sects and Mysticism; H.R. Niebuhr on Sectarianism; Bryan Wilson on Sectarianism; Towards a Typology of the New Religious Life Secularization, New Religions and Alternative Spiritualities; 3. The Re-enchantment of the West Disenchantment as the Precursor to Re-enchantment; Non-traditional Religious Vitality; Re-enchantment and De-exotification; Concluding Comments; Part 2: The Significance Of Occulture; 4. Occulture; The Cultic Milleu and Mystical Religion Occulture; New Age Occulture: the Significance of the Self; The Priority of Experience and a Hermeneutic of Suspicion; Romanticizing the Premodern; Pagan Occulture; Concluding Comments; 5. Easternization? Turning East; East Meets West; The Significance of the 1893 World Parliament of Religions; A Revolution of Consciousness: the Sacralizing Significance of the 1960s; Eastern Teachers in Western Traditions; Easternization? Problems and Proposals; Quasi-religion, Instrumental Activism, and Syncretism; 6. Popular Occulture; Popular Culture as Religious Text? The Dilution Thesis; The Significance of Popular Culture; Supernatural Horror: Vampire Fiction Cool Occulture; Popular Sacred Narratives; 7. Popular Occulture: The Significance of Sound Adorno and Popular Music; The Occultural Significance of Popular Music Festival Culture; Psychedelic Trance Culture; Practising the Sacred Art of Dub; Concluding Comments; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Christopher Partridge is Professor of Contemporary Religion at University College Chester. His research and writing focuses on Western alternative spiritualities and popular culture.


'Chris Partridge argues that Western Society is permeated by a broad "occulture" by which he means a reservoir of ideas, beliefs, theories and practices to which new religions, unorthodox spiritualities, film and popular music all draw attention. This re-enchantment of the West should not be seen as a superficial secondary development in the shadow of Christianity. In many ways it is a religious phenomenom in its own right. Partridge's arguments in this regard are well put and I warmly welcome this timely book.' Mikhael Rothstein, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.--Sanford Lakoff
'[a] useful contribution...if you want a more in-depth treatment you will find this rewarding, largely free of jargon and containing useful summaries of important debates...a good and well-argued assessment of the contemporary situation...listen to Partridge's largely excellent analysis of culture; there is much here to inform. I, for one, will certainly eagerly await the next volume'--Sanford Lakoff "Anvil "
'This is an important book in several respects. One of its particular strengths is its focus on how contemporary media and popular culture have played an important role in the popularization of these alternative spiritualities...Partridge's contribution to this discussion is original and well argued. The book works well as an introduction to sociological debates for students new to this area, but also offers a distinctive, well-argued perspective on these. The book should also attract significant interest amongst those involved in exploring the nature of missiology for Western culture....The book deserves to be a focus for ongoing debate.' Gordon Lynch, Expository Times, 01/10/2006--Sanford Lakoff "Expository Times "
"(this book - reviewed alongside another) offer us fresh and important data and the discussion is informed and sophisticated, without recourse to obfuscating jargon. Unlike many who pontificate on the fate of religion and spirituality, these authors have 'been there' - not just as tourists, but as keenly observant and analytically astute scholars. They know what they are writing about, both intellectually and experientially. It would be a mistake for anyone interested enough in religion to read Theology not to read both these books."--Sanford Lakoff "Theology "

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