Intimacy and diversity within alternative spiritualities: the informal religious field in Lithuania
Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson (Vilnius University)
Paper short abstract:
This presentation discusses alternative religious movements, concerning search and maintain of intimacy within and outside particular religious subculture and expressions of informal religious activities in cultural underground and in this way forming a common field of spiritual alternatives.
Paper long abstract:
Presentation focuses on a research into contemporary cultic milieu and main manifestations of general search for alternative spirituality in Lithuania. It discusses diverse alternative religious and spiritual movements which mainly emerged in Lithuania in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, concerning orientation into search and maintain of intimacy within and outside particular religious subculture and expressions of informal religious activities in cultural underground. Here, contemporary Lithuanian cultic milieu is being studied in a way how subcultural ideas of diverse alternative religious groups transcend borders of particular religious movements and form common field of spiritual alternatives. In such a situation, orientation into intimacy constitutes relationships and networks among individuals. Also informality arises as an absence of a precise form, presence of openness and willingness for a change, a possibility to be influenced by various currents of often distinct worldviews. Individual worldview often transcends a sociocultural framework of separate subcultural or other groups and expresses more a belonging to a common field of ideological spiritual alternative. In this case, an individual is uplifted - he is being surrounded by diverse worldviews and life-styles within particular religions, and possibilities to choose and change them. The borders of religious and spiritual groups overflow, whereas alternative sociocultural context influences a formation of permanently changing alternative religious identity. The findings are based on data obtained from fieldwork during 2004-2014, including participant observation and interviews with respondents of diverse alternative religious groups (i.e., New Age spirituality, Hinduistic, Buddhist, Pagan and other groups) in Lithuania.
Religious trends toward intimacy and revolution