Tradition, Vetenskap och Upplevelse En Analys av Mindfulness och New Age i det Moderna Västerländska Samhället

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion

Sammanfattning: The purpose of the present study is to investigate mindfulness as a New Age phenomenon in the modern western society. Since a religious phenomenon does not exist in a vacuum, but is dependent on its historical and cultural context, my aim is to give a broad depiction of mindfulness and New Age in its wider context, the historical background and the societal implications of common values, themes and concepts that are frequent in the literature, how mindfulness is presented by the authors of popular literature and also how it is presented in science. In order to bring forward a deeper understanding of New Age and mindfulness’ role in the modern western society, my intention is to see how the authors of mindfulness claim validity of their doctrines in the discourse. Mindfulness attracts a wide range of perpetrators and is used in many areas in the society today. The values evident in the literature are very different from the traditional Buddhist context and it is obvious how the authors are using mindfulness almost as an emblem to legitimize their own doctrines, often in accordance with the values central in New Age in general. They claim validity by claiming that their doctrines are either scientific, based on tradition and/or founded on personal experience, but by examination these claims are used only rhetoric with no authenticity. The values found in the literature may be seen as a radicalization of the values in the modern western society. Also, the themes appearing in the literature are often new translations of scientific discoveries, like evolutionism, that are given a spiritual meaning or they are secular values like individualism, which are understood spiritually. This may be understood as a process of re-sacralization of a secular world, using themes that are accepted in the discourse.

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