The expression New Age, which alludes to an upcoming age of peace and harmony, indicates a “postmodern” (as Paul Heelas defines it) religious or spiritual movement whose beliefs and practices are highly variable. The New Age shifting of the locus of religious authority from established, and historically male-dominated, religious hierarchies to the individual seems to have offered a unique chance to women traditionally marginalized by such structures. However, Monica Sjoo has criticized the movement as antifeminist and patriarchal. The New Age holds the idea of an evolutionary “quantum leap” in consciousness that awaits the human species; each individual “seeker” collaborates to the arising of the global consciousness of the living planet Earth (Gaia) through an inner journey of self-understanding and a spiritual quest in ...

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