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The new age and indigenous spirituality: Searching for the sacred

Farley, Claire (2010) The new age and indigenous spirituality: Searching for the sacred. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis examines the New Age spiritual movement in its relationship with Indigenous cultures. Indigenous spiritual traditions have been appropriated to support relevant New Age theories. It critiques New Age perceptions of Indigenous cultures as misinformed and argues this misinformation is proliferated through certain New Age practices. It argues that the New Age can achieve a sustaining, earth-based spiritual practice without resorting to the appropriation of Indigenous traditions. Neo-paganism holds many of the qualities that New Agers seek in Indigenous traditions and is a potential alternative avenue of spiritual solace to the appropriation of Indigenous culture. The embodiment of New Age goals can be understood within the context of environmental ethics philosophies. Alternative festivals that operate with a spiritual ethic are explored as evidence that the New Age can and in some areas, does operate in a positive, life-affirming manner. Importantly, the thesis argues that re-interpretation of Indigenous culture by the New Age is neither welcome nor necessary.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Media, Communication and Culture
Supervisor: Trees, Kathryn
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