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By The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight Numbers One & Two

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7 Table 1 summarizes the replies. Most Scots have not tried these things, particularly those that represent a significant commitment, and of those who have tried them, most do not think them very important. 8 Led by Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead, the research team used a wide variety of techniques to identify everything (from organized yoga classes to one-to-one therapies) that could be seen as New Age activity, and through detailed interviewing and surveying compiled a reasonable estimate. They concluded that between one and two percent of the population are involved in the holistic milieu in a typical week.

The anxious repressed merchant banker who takes up yoga or meditation does not cease to be a banker; he may acquire a certain detachment from his work role and become a more contented holistic banker, but he continues in the mainstream. ” 14 Ruth Prince and David Riches, The New Age in Glastonbury: The Construction of Religious Movements (New York: Berghahn, 2000) 166–7, 176–8. 43 T he H edgehog R eview / S pring & S U mmer 0 6 They sell the expensive house in London and retreat to a cottage in Wales or Cumbria to make pottery and run weekend workshops in reiki healing.

9 Compared to the “real thing”—religious tradition—New Age spiritualities of life are impoverished, vague, attenuated, and quasi-spiritual, if not secular. To discuss this defense in connection with the Kendal Project, Voas and Bruce draw attention to the finding that nearly half of the respondents to the questionnaire sent to all the participants of the holistic milieu did not consider their activities to be of spiritual significance. Although all the practitioners might have been providing activities that they understood to be spiritual, a considerable number of group members or one-to-one clients understood homeopathy or osteopathy, for example, as devoid of spirituality.

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AFTER SECULARIZATION by The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight Numbers One & Two


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