View Book

New Age in Norway

ID: 2280 - View Book Page - Edit In OJS

This volume investigates “alternative” spiritualities that increasingly cater for the mainstream within the secularized society of Norway, making Norwegian-based research available to international scholarship. It looks at New Age both in a restricted (sensu stricto) and a wide sense (sensu lato), focusing mainly on the period from the mid 1990s and onwards, with a particular emphasis on developments after the turn of the century. Few, if any, of the ideas and practices discussed in this book are homegrown or uniquely Norwegian, but local soil and climate still matters, as habitats for particular growths and developments. Globalizing currents are here shaped and molded by local religious history and contemporary religio-political systems, along with random incidences, such as the setting up of an angel-business by the princess Märtha Louise. The position of Lutheran Protestantism as “national religion” particularly impacts on the development and perception of religious competitors.

Published: Mar 6, 2017

Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures and List of Tables Ingvild Gilhus
Contributors Ingvild Gilhus
New Age in Norway Ingvild Gilhus, Siv Ellen Kraft
Chapter 1
Church Religion and New Age: An Encounter between Rivals? Lisbeth Mikaelsson
Chapter 2
From ‘Network’ to ‘Visions’: The Role of the Umbrella Organisation VisionWorks in the Norwegian Alternative Movement Margrethe Løøv
Chapter 3
Bad, Banal and Basic. New Age in the Norwegian News Press and Entertainment Media Siv Ellen Kraft
Chapter 4
Spiritual Tourism Torunn Selberg
Chapter 5
New Age in Norwegian Religion Education: An Analysis of Development in Curricula and Textbooks for RE in Secondary and Upper-secondary Education 1996-2008 Bengt-Ove Andreassen
Chapter 6
Alternative Medicine: Health-oriented Spiritual Practices in Norway Anne Kalvig
Chapter 7
Angels: Between Secularization and Re-enchantment Ingvild Gilhus
Chapter 8
New Age and Norwegian ’Conspirituality’ Asbjørn Dyrendal
Chapter 9
Contemporary Spiritualism in Norway: Faith Assemblies and Market Products Anne Kalvig
Chapter 10
Sami-shamanism in Norway: A Patchwork of Traditions and Organizations Trude Fonneland
Chapter 11
Hindu-inspired Meditation Movements in Norway: TM, Acem and the Art of Living Foundation Inga Tøllefsen
Chapter 12
“Bumper Car Ride Through a Maze of Spiritual Trips”: Multiple Involvements, Changes across Time, and Deep Structure in the Alternative Spiritual Milieu James Lewis, Oscar-Torjus Utaaker
New Age in Sweden: A Comparison with Norway Liselotte Frisk
New Religions and “New Religiosity” in Denmark: A Very Brief Subjective Note Mikael Rothstein
End Matter
Index Ingvild Gilhus


Some of the chapters investigate themes that at first glance seem typically Norwegian, such as the relation to the Lutheran Church, the angel-school of the royal Princess Märtha Louise, Sami-Shamanism, etc. This does not, how¬ever, imply that these contributions do not offer insights and reflections that could be of interest for a wider international audience. Those who seek will find.
Journal of Religion in Europe

Where this work really shines is in its individual contributions, which are well-argued, thoughtful, and enlightening about their subject matter. The chapters on conspiracy theories and angels in particular stand out as novel elaborations of topics that are common among New Age circles but as yet have drawn scant attention academically.
This book will be of interest and use to scholars of religion, particularly those specializing in New Age or alternative religions, and also to a general readership curious about what religion is in a contemporary, secularized society.
Nova Religio

New Age in Norway is a commendably well-edited anthology, with a clear red thread, balanced in scope, methods, and theoretical perspectives, and offering a coherent view of the subject matter. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in contemporary religiosity in the Scandinavian countries, and required reading for scholars wishing to follow the research trends on New Age and NRMs globally.
Aries – Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism

A selection of texts that covers a wide range of topics, making for a rewarding reading experience.
How remarkable it truly is that such a great deal of research has been conducted in this particular area in Norway by such a large number of talented scholars.
International Journal for the Study of New Religions