The spiritual movement commonly referred to as New Age emerged in the context of the counterculture of the 1960s. It is vital for an understanding of religious change in the West since then, especially the shift from religion to spirituality. This entry discusses the movement’s countercultural roots, its worldview and cultural logic, and its implications for secularization theory.

The New Age movement constitutes a secularized offshoot of Western esotericism, which has been present in the West since the Renaissance. Its more recent historical roots are situated in the popular counterculture of the 1960s. Central to the latter’s outlook was a rejection of predefined social roles, of the institutions that defined these roles, and most generally, of a modern society that was understood as standing in the ...

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