Summary of Spirituality and the rebrading of religion - Carrette and King

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Religion & Culture
Chris Klassen

Spirituality and the re-branding of religion – Carrette and King  Spirituality is “big business”  Explosion of interest and literature on mind, body and spirit and “personal development” o Also appropriated by corporate bodies and management consultants  Spirituality replaced religion as old allegiances and social identities are transformed by modernity  Spirituality celebrated by those disillusioned by traditional institutional religions o Seen as force for wholeness, healing and inner transformation o Denotes positive aspects of ancient religious traditions  Questioning modern spirituality o Neoliberalism  Defining political economic paradigm of our time  Dominant global political economic trend adopted by political parties of the center for the past two decades o European intellectuals sought to establish framework for society and politics that avoided religious conflicts during the enlightenment  Relegate religious to private life, to remove it from the public sphere o The Enlightenment  Intellectual obsession with defining precise characteristics of religion  Little sense to draw sharp distinction between secular and religious dimensions of human life o No essence or definitive meaning to terms like spirituality or religion o No view from anywhere from which one could determine a fixed and universal meaning for the term “spirituality” o Seeks to shift debate from misleading emphasis upon truth and authenticity to consideration of socio-political consequences of such claims o No distinct realm known as “the religious” that exists isolated from social, political and economical world  Economic world is also not isolated from the religious o Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher change relationship between religion and economics  Capitalist spirituality  Attempted takeover of cultural spaced traditionally inhabited by “the religions” by specific economic agenda  This shift caused erasure of social and ethical concerns associated with religious traditions and communities and subordination of “the religious” and the ethical real of economics o Argument against capitalist spirituality  That it is not “true” or real spirituality  Implies that there is something easily identifiable as “spiritual” in the world  Challenging individualist/corporatist monopoly of the term “spirituality” o What is being sold produces very little in the way of significant changes in one’s lifestyle or fundamental behaviour patterns th o New age capitalism emerged in last few decades of 20 century  The two phases in the privatization of religion Spirituality and the re-branding of religion – Carrette and King o Since Enlightenment, “religion” subjected to erosion of social authority with rise of scientific rationalism, humanism and secularization  Manifests as the switch to the private sphere o Two trends in privatization  Enlightenment led to increased tendency to exclude religious discourse from public domain  Representing “the religious” as individual choice, beliefs and private states of mind o Consequence – individualization of religion  Separation from business of state  Religion already seeping into public domain of modern secular societies o Commodification of religion as spirituality o Entered public discourse in violent way through radical religious groups  Middle East and South Asia  Secular space of modernity – product of religious history and Enlightenment reaction to it  Rowan Williams – traditional perspectives and ethical orientations of the “religious traditions” are essential for very preservation of values of tolerance and respect  Wholesale Commodification of religion  Sell off of religious buildings, ideas and claims to authenticity in service to corporate capitalism o Selling of public utilities and services to private companies  Exploitation of the cultural capital of religi
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