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Religions 2019, 10(3), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030166

Religiousness and Spirituality in the New Utopian Movements

Department of Social Anthropology, University of Sevilla, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract

The aim of this article is the study and analysis of a set of revived utopian communities today, understood as contemporary spiritual heresies from theoretical perspectives close to postmodern critiques. Following ethnographic research over a series of years in different locations across the four continents, this socio-anthropological contribution highlights the characteristics, development and social image of this complex and largely unknown social and spiritual reality. The approach goes beyond the spatial—it includes not only the “being there” and living with the utopian individuals in their own communities for years—but also a temporal dimension, with emphasis placed on their continuity, on the existence of heterodox and heretical groups and communities throughout history. The new ethical critique, environmental problems, and the fear of an imminent sixth extinction guide us in the exploration of new millenarian beliefs emerging from the new spiritual movements born in what is called New Age. A detailed review by these cults—which appear to not follow any recognizable pattern—allows us to understand how some ideas are used in the post-capitalist era or—for the most critical—the eco-capitalist era. We approach the utopian communities understanding them as key strongholds of a counterculture that has aligned with the times, exploring their symbolic spaces and their idea of progress based, among other premises, on degrowth and voluntary simplicity. This is an approach to today’s heresies disguised as modernity. A look at religiousness turned spirituality in utopian movements of our time. View Full-Text
Keywords: utopian movements; utopian communities; spiritual heresies; intentional community; counterculture; ecology; New Age; religiousness; spirituality; ecovillages utopian movements; utopian communities; spiritual heresies; intentional community; counterculture; ecology; New Age; religiousness; spirituality; ecovillages
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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León Gómez, J. Religiousness and Spirituality in the New Utopian Movements. Religions 2019, 10, 166.

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