Belief Beyond Boundaries explores 'religions' or forms of spirituality that tend to be marginal to the mainstream of British and North American religious expression. The book examines how alternative spiritualities traditionally classed as 'New Age' or new religious movements have grown exponentially in recent years. It progresses to detailed examination of Paganism, Celtic spirituality, Wicca, witchcraft, North American indigenous religion and New Age, considering the impact of the rise of science on religion and the emergence of new categories of spirituality. The authors explore why these forms of spirituality are so popular in the contemporary UK and USA, and how they impact on mainstream traditions. The five textbooks and Reader that make up the Religion Today Open University/Ashgate series are: o From Sacred Text to Internet o Religion and Social Transformations o Perspectives on Civil Religion o Global Religious Movements in Regional Context o Belief Beyond Boundaries o Religion Today: A Reader
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction, Joanne Pearson; Part I: The history and development of Wicca and Paganism, Joanne Pearson; Contemporary Celtic spirituality, Marion Bowman; Alternative spiritualities: North American indigenous religions and the ’New Age’, Susan Mumm; Witches and Wicca, Joanne Pearson; Religion, science and the New Age, Roderick Main; Part II: The roots of modern Paganism, Ronald Hutton; Theosophy and its heirs, Kevin Tingay; The quest for Celtic Christianity, Donald E. Meek; Wanting to be an Indian, Myke Johnson; From the devil’s gateway to the goddess within: the image of the witch in neopaganism, W. Hanegraaff; The witch in history, D. Purkiss; Against the self-images of the New Age, J. Brooke and G. Cantor; Index.
'The essays are written in a clear, readable, respectful, and neutral academic style, with glossary terms bolded in the text... This is one of the more accessible and better-written academic studies available of paganism and New Age movements. Highly recommended for undergraduate, larger public, and all religion/theology libraries.' Library Journal 'The volume is attractively produced, with many illustrations, and there is no doubt that this book will be very welcome to university teachers in particular. Here we are given focused introductions, surveying basic issues and historic origins, in combination with a selection of the best work already in print. The survey essays are clearly aimed at the beginner in the subject and make sense of very confusing topics... a most useful and welcome volume.' Journal of Beliefs and Values 'Nicely produced and not too expensive. Reflects UK authors whom students have heard about. Good level of detail and illustrations and clear font' Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Cardiff Research Fellow, Department of Religious and Theological Studies, Cardiff University, UK '... the series is written in a welcome accessible style appropriate to students of courses on new religious movements, but also of interest to general readers wanting to discover more about contemporary religious trends... Belief Beyond Boundaries is an informative and useful text that draws together some key contemporary religious and cultural issues in the context of Wicca, Celtic Christianiy and other Celtic spirituality, and American Indian traditions... the volume is a thoughtful and interesting contribution to religious studies and an excellent classroom resource.' Journal of Contemporary Religion