RELIGST 2QQ3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Charismatic Authority, Conspiracy Theory, Paradigm Shift

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Published on 5 Oct 2018
The emergence of conspirituality; Ward & Voas (p.103-121)
Conspirituality is based on 2 views:
1. A secret group controls/trying to control the political and social order (conspiracy)
2. Humanity is undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ in consciousness so solutions lie in acting in
according with awakened ‘new paradigm’ view (rooted in New Age)
Intro
- Individuals now occupy distinct roles )family, workplace and community) that no longer
interact. This fragmentation has caused conventional religions to become disconnected
from everyday life and opened alternative ideologies such as “holistic”
- A hybrid of conspiracy theory and alternative spirituality has appeared on the internet
which we call ‘conspirituality’
- The conspiracy theory is male dominated, conservative, pessimistic and generally
concerned with current affairs. The holistic milieu is female dominated, liberal, and
largely focused on the self and personal relationships
Methods
- It’s primarily and internet-based movement so much of information is gathered from
this medium
- It’s a global movement but this article is focused primarily on the Anglo-American issues
and concerns which is a type of bias
New age spirituality
- New age is seen as time with following elements: mystical individual transformation,
belief in invisible but pervasive forms of energy, imposing personal vision onto society
- New age remains largely feminine like Diana cooper who highlights things like
channelling, healing and mediation on her web site.
- It’s focused on energies, forces of love, healing, transformation, having some type of
“spiritual awakening” as Madonna said
Conspiracy theory
- Common theme around conspiracies is that nothing happens by accident, nothing is at it
seems and everything is connected
- An “American conspiracy theorists seems to be primarily a white phenomenon; and
primarily a white male phenomenon”
- This are is typical of political activism which women generally have lower levels of
interest in . In recent decades, it has contained to 4 main sectors:
1. Speculation about specific episodes; was 9/11 an inside job? Is Tupac really dead? Was
Princess of wales associated?
2. Bio and geo-conspiracies
- Beliefs surrounding manipulation of natural world; have diseases been manufactured?
Are we given truth about genetic engineering? Is weather manipulation possible?
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