Religion and New Age Movements

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Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the view that most people today see spirituality and religious belief as purely private and personal matters.

In society today religion can be seen in two different ways, as a private and personal matter or something to share with your community. Some sociologists would argue that religion and spirituality is a private matter because of televangelism, which is where people watch their religions services on television or go on online churches in the comfort and privacy of their own home when we have free time but other sociologists argue that this does not mean that religion and spirituality is a private matter, but that we have to use televangelism due to the fact we live in a postmodern society which means society is constantly changing and causes us to lead hectic lifestyles. This also links in with vicarious religion, which is where a small group of people practice for the wider community.

Another reason why sociologists would argue that religion and spirituality is a private matter is that there has been a large increase in new age movements, such as; horoscopes, tarot cards and Wicca. Which focus on individualistic beliefs and self-healing, increasing amounts of these springing up indicates that because we live in a postmodern society we are starting to focus on ourselves more meaning that our beliefs are becoming privatised. Other sociologists would argue against this by saying that they are not a true picture of our religious beliefs, and are in fact, just fads, which we can pick and choose whether, we believe in them and don’t necessarily believe in them throughout our whole lives. This is linked to spiritual shopping, which is where we pick and choose which parts of different religions we believe in. Our beliefs are not a set structure and we have personal choice in what we believe.

Also, another reason why religion may have become privatised is because of industrialisation, which caused us to no...
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