Radio Series on New Age

The BBC World Service has a new series on the New Age movement, presented by Religious Affairs correspondent Jane Little.

The first episode covers the kind of stuff you would expect, kicking off with an interview with Paul Heelas, the UK’s foremost scholar of the subject. The New Age appears in opposition to organised religion: there’s input from an ex-Charismatic Christian who disliked the fact that her church cared more about doctrine than relationships; New Age writer Timothy Freke informs us that we are undergoing a “Gnostic renaissance” of spiritual awareness; and the inevitable Deepak Chopra contrasts organised religion (=fundamentalism) with New Age spirituality.

Little politely raises some criticisms of the New Age with Chopra – the psychobabble and the quick-fix “health and wealth” promises – but these are not discussed in any length.

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