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Beyond Narcissism: Towards an Analysis of the Public, Political and Collective Forms of Contemporary Spirituality

Department of Sociology, Universitat de Barcelona, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Sociology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2019, 10(10), 579;
Received: 5 September 2019 / Revised: 11 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 16 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World)
Holistic spirituality has often been characterized by academic literature as belonging to the private sphere, articulated through the market and anchored in the growth of narcissistic individualism. However, recent empirical evidence and theoretical developments suggest a more complex picture. Drawing on the analysis and comparison of two empirical cases—the organization of collective meditations in public spaces and the teaching of yoga in prisons by holistic volunteers —we explore the rise of social engagement initiatives, aiming to transform society through the promotion and use of holistic techniques. Our main conclusions revolve around four main issues (a) the move of holistic spirituality from the private to the public sphere and the increasing public resonance with (and acceptance of) the contemporary holistic milieu, (b) the emergence of an holistic imaginary of social change anchored in ethics of reciprocity and responsibility, (c) the role of the body as a central locus of resistance and social transformation and (d) the articulation of new forms of individualism that enable to make self-realization compatible with social and political commitment. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; power; resistance; social theory; holistic spirituality religion; power; resistance; social theory; holistic spirituality
MDPI and ACS Style

Clot-Garrell, A.; Griera, M. Beyond Narcissism: Towards an Analysis of the Public, Political and Collective Forms of Contemporary Spirituality. Religions 2019, 10, 579.

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