The New Age Is Over

Now that Neopaganism has replaced the New Age Movement, flaws in evangelicals' criticism are obvious.

Recently the editor of Gnosis, America's premier alternative spirituality magazine, and Germany's leading alternative religion journal, Esotera, declared that the New Age Movement has run its course and is now effectively over. The New Age Movement first caught the attention of Christians with the publication of books by Dave Hunt and Constance Cumbey in 1983. Later Shirley MacLaine popularized New Age ideas through her many books and the television series, Out on a Limb. A rash of popular works exposing the evils of New Age ideas followed alongside equally popular books extolling the virtues of this new vision of reality.

Only recently have serious scholarly accounts of the New Age Movement appeared from the pens of Chrissie Steyn (1994), Christoph Bochinger (1994), Peter Kratz (1994), Michael York (1995), Paul Heelas (1996), M.D. Faber (1996), Wouter J. Hanegraaff (1997) and most recently John P. Newport (1998). Of these only Newport writes as an evangelical. Sadly, his book is by far the worst documented and least impressive.

Christoph Bochinger's "New Age" und moderne Religion (Giterskiger: Chr. Kaiser Verlaghaus, 1994) presents an impressive analysis of New Age texts supplements by a very useful 153-page bibliography. He provides the reader with an excellent historical overview and detailed analysis of New Age beliefs that emphasizes the richness of their sources and the diversity of this spiritual tradition.The book is particularly revealing because the author interviewed various publishers to discover why they were promoting New Age books. As might be expected, and contrary to the arguments of some conspiracy theorists, the answer was that German presses translated and published American books on the New Age Movement ...

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April
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