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The rising culture and worldview of contemporary spirituality: A sociological study of potentials and pitfalls for sustainable development

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  • Hedlund-de Witt, Annick
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    Abstract

    Several social scientists claim that the rise of the culture of contemporary spirituality is a pivotal part of the gradual but profound change taking place in the Western worldview, both reflecting the larger cultural development, as well as giving shape and direction to it. Its emergence is therefore not to be neglected in attempts to create a more sustainable society. The aim of this study is to generate insight into the culture and worldview of contemporary spirituality and explore its potentials and pitfalls for sustainable development. An investigation of the sociological literature on the so-called "New Age" phenomenon results in a delineation and overview of these and shows that this culture is both a potentially promising force, as well as a phenomenon posing specific risks. A structural-developmental understanding is introduced in order to be able to distinguish between regressive and progressive tendencies in this culture, and comprehend the deeper logic behind the observed potentials and pitfalls. This may serve to facilitate the actualization of the culture's potentials while mitigating its pitfalls, and in that way contribute to the timely challenge of creating a more sustainable society.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (April)
    Pages: 1057-1065

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:6:p:1057-1065

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Contemporary spirituality Cultural change Worldviews Environmental behavior Sustainable development Developmental psychology;

    References

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    1. Hulme,Mike, 2009. "Why We Disagree About Climate Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521898690.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gemma Burford & Elona Hoover & Ismael Velasco & Svatava Janoušková & Alicia Jimenez & Georgia Piggot & Dimity Podger & Marie K. Harder, 2013. "Bringing the “Missing Pillar” into Sustainable Development Goals: Towards Intersubjective Values-Based Indicators," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(7), pages 3035-3059, July.

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