Contemporary New Age Transformation in Taiwan: A Sociological Study of a New Religious Movement

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First comprehensive analysis in English of the social dimension of Tawian’s New Age movements.


“Shu-Chuan Chen’s research throws new light on the variety of social networks that link participants to each other directly or indirectly. She shows convincingly that these networks operate at three different levels, partially overlap with each other and extend outside the borders of Taiwan. They play an important role not only in giving substance and flexibility to the New Age movement but also in helping to lead potential participants towards its worldview and activities.
This is a book that will, therefore, be of great interest to specialists in the study of spiritualities and religions in a globalizing world. But at the same time, it will offer to general readers an intriguing insight into beliefs and practices that are not only growing in popularity but also becoming absorbed into popular culture.” – Prof. James A. Beckford, British Academy

“. . . explores the neglected yet critical issues of emotions and embodiment in New Age practices. From in-depth interviews, participant observation, and documents, Shu-Chuan Chen has made an intense analysis of the history, belief, practices and organizations in the New Age Movement in Taiwan.” – Prof. Hei-Yuan Chiu, Academia Sinica

“This is a text which will provide an important source for scholars of contemporary religion in terms of its theoretical framework and evidence base. It is also a text accessible to students of New Age and Alternative spiritualities in defining key sociological theories on network and social movement theory, concepts of globalisation and glocalisation, broader themes related to modernity and issues of reflexive identity and as a source on the phenomena of the New Age movement.” – Prof. Dominic Corrywright, Oxford Brookes University

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
Foreword by James A. Beckford
1. Beginning of the Journey
2. The Concept of ‘New Age’
3. Self-Religion, Reflexive Modernization, and Globalization
4. The Range of the New Age Movement in Taiwan
5. Transformation I: Self, Emotions, and Feeling Rules in New Age Practices
6. Transformation II: Healing, Self-Identity, and Expert Knowledge in New Age Practices
7. Transformation III: Organizations, Networks, and Globalization in the New Age Movement
8. End of the Journey Begins Another
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Author Index
Subject Index

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