New Age Religion and Western Culture | Wouter J. Hanegraaff
Esotericism In the Mirror of Secular Thought… Recent years have seen a spectacular rise of the New Age movement and an ever-increasing interest in its beliefs and manifestations. This fascinating work presents the first comprehensive analysis of New Age religion and its historical backgrounds, thus providing a means of orientation in the bewildering variety of the movement.
Making extensive use of primary sources, the author thematically analyzes New Age beliefs from the perspective of the study of religions. While looking at the historical backgrounds of the movement, he convincingly argues that its foundations were laid by so-called western esoteric traditions during the Renaissance. Wouter Hanegraaff finally shows how the modern New Age movement emerged from the increasing secularization of those esoteric traditions during the nineteenth century.