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New Age

(1,348 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Olav
The Concept


(1,549 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Olav
The impact of → Carl Gustav Jung's ideas in contemporary society has been both considerable and selective. To mention just a few areas, there are modes of therapeutic intervention, psychological tests, forms of myth analysis, branches of Christian theology as well as a host of literary and artistic products that betray the influence of Jungian thought. Specifically for the domain of religion, Wulff (1997) distinguishes six areas in which Jung's influence is particularly strong. Jung's critique of mainstream forms of Christianity has inspired theological perspectives that incorporate key concepts from Jung's work. Certain forms of feminism have incorporated Jung's ideas on the specificity of, and the differences between, the male and female psyches. There are forms of Biblical interpretation that attempt to read Scriptural narratives as myth an…

Human Potential Movement

(4,923 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Olav
The term Human Potential Movement (HPM) arose in the 1960s as referring to a highly eclectic mix of therapies, many of which were poised on the border between a psychological and a religious framework. They must be regarded as belonging to the history of gnosis and Western esot…

New Age Movement

(4,864 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Olav
The New Age has emerged during the 1970s and increasingly during the 1980s as a common denominator for a variety of quite divergent contemporary popular practices and beliefs. Among other things, healing, channeling, the interest in crystals, varieties of positive thinking and several forms of divination [→ Divinatory Arts] have been linked to this term. The New Age also includes various “alternative” interpretations of history and of the sciences.…

Essenes, Esoteric legends about

(2,214 words)

Author(s): Hammer, Olav | Snoek, Jan A.M.
The Essenes were a distinct group of Jews which, until the 20th century, was known only from a few descriptions in Greek and Latin texts. They are described by Philo in Hypothetica (11.1-18) and Every Good Man Is Free (12.75-13.91). Josephus writes of the Essenes in passages of several of his books. The most detailed description is found in The Jewish War (2.119-161). A shorter passage on them is included in Jewish Antiquities (18.18-22). Pliny the Elder wrote briefly about the Essenes in his Natural History (5.73). Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in 1947, the group associated with the scrolls was for the next five decades generally assumed to be the Essene community described by these Greek and Roman authors. This assumption has again been increasingly questioned during the 1990s (Boccaccini 1998). Philo and Josephus describe the Essenes as an all-male order, divided into distinct classes and organized under officials to whom obedience was require…