By The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight Numbers One & Two
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In order to get over 1 percent 10 Heelas and Woodhead 54–5. 41 T he H edgehog R eview / S pring & S U mmer 0 6 of the population, we need to encompass a variety of imported recreational activities, miscellaneous methods of relaxation, and diverse forms of alternative medicine, all practiced mainly by people who do not even pretend to see them as spiritual. Rather than seeing the New Age as compensating for a decline in Christianity, we should see it as an extension of the surgery, the clinic, the gym, or the beauty salon.
I s europe an e x ceptional case ? / davie guidance, and considerable support—effective protection from the vicissitudes of life. Interestingly, however, it is the softer charismatic forms of evangelicalism that are doing particularly well; old-fashioned Biblicism, relatively speaking, is losing its appeal. Very different and less frequently recognized in the writing about religion in modern Britain (as indeed in Europe) is the evident popularity of cathedrals and city-center churches. Cathedrals and their equivalents deal with diverse constituencies.
Rather than attaching importance to the beliefs, doctrines, and ethical injunctions of theistic traditions, importance is attached to experiencing the heart of life. Practices are taken to facilitate the inner quest. Drawn from many sources, most especially the spiritual “traditions” of the East, activities range from yoga (the most popular) to spiritual massage (also popular), from reiki to spiritual forms of the Alexander Technique. Enabling spiritual seekers to make contact with their inner depths, seekers experience spirituality Paul Heelas is Professor in Religion and Modernity in the Department of Religious Studies at Lancaster University.