InterVarsity Press

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The Making of the New Spirituality

The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition

By James A. Herrick

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A 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist!

One of Preaching magazine's 2004 "Top Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read"!

Neo-paganism.
The paranormal.
Astrology.
Nature religion.
Holistic thinking.
Healing.
New Age.
New spirituality.

A massive shift in Western religious attitudes has taken place almost without our noticing it. The Judeo-Christian tradition of Western culture has slowly but steadily been eclipsed by a new way of viewing spirituality.

This shift has been in the making for some three hundred years. James Herrick tells the story of how the old view has been dismantled and a new one created not primarily through academic or institutional channels but by means of popular religious media--books, speeches, magazines and pamphlets, as well as movies, plays, music, radio interviews, television programs and websites.

Although the new spirituality is diffuse and eclectic in its sources and manifestations, Herrick demonstrates a significant convergence of ideas, beliefs, assumptions, convictions and images in the myriad ways this New Religious Synthesis makes its way into our culture. In fact, the new spirituality, says Herrick, directly calls into question each major tenet of Judeo-Christian tradition and so represents a radical alternative to it.

Interest in spirituality increases while participation in institutional religion wanes. Many welcome this evolution of religion. However, few are familiar with its roots, and fewer still have critically examined its prospects. As we stand at a spiritual crossroad, Herrick questions whether we are wise to discard the Western religious tradition and adopt the new spirituality.

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