ROBERT W. BROCKWAYTHE ROOTS OF NEW AGE
indefinitely. Only 1200 individuals list New Age as their religion in the United States; only a few hundred do so in Canada.
New Age is predominantly an emphasis or tendency within present-day Christanity and Judaism, and not as yet a distinct religious orientation in its own right. Is it the wave of the future? Probably not, being an approach confined to people inclined toward mysticism of certain types. Some highly competitive professionals and businessmen in the corporate world now feel that they have neglected the spiritual side of life. Some cultivate various New Age forms of inwardness such as meditation in order to charge batteries for their encounters in the tense business world of today. The bookstores stock numerous books and audiotapes which present relaxation techniques. Some of these are based on New Age ideas. Many take up martial arts and Tai Ch’I for the same reason. Thus, some New Age values, techniques, and ideas have been embraced by today’s corporate culture.
New Age is an ongoing religious alternative which deserves recognition regardless of one’s attitudes toward it. It is an important phenomenon which has not received sufficient attention from scholars in the field of religion. For this reason, most of what is published about it is by adherents who are necessarily apologists. What is needed is objective scholarly study.