Spirituality within religion: gendered responses to a Greek spiritual revolution
Eugenia Roussou (CRIA/ISCTE-IUL)
It has been argued that alternative spiritualities are gradually taking over traditional forms of religion in the contemporary world. In most of Europe and North America this shift to spirituality is accompanied by a more articulated renunciation of the dominant religion and dramatic decrease of church attendance. Greece, however, seems to go through a different 'spiritual revolution' (Heelas and Woodhead 2005). New Age spirituality, which has recently appeared in the contemporary Greek religioscape, is mostly accommodated within the prevailing religion of the country, Orthodox Christianity. My paper offers an ethnographic and theoretical account of a distinctive movement in Greece, where religion and spirituality appear to be corresponding to rather than resisting one another. I aim to present a unique case of spiritual amalgamation between Orthodox Christian religion and New Age spirituality, while investigating the diverse forms of power that are involved, and the role which gendered identity plays in the process.
Spirituality against religion: the role of gender and power