Hart on ‘New Age’ spirituality

August 3, 2009

Sometime in the next week or so I will be posting some thoughts about David Bentley Hart’s recent book Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies.  As those thoughts are in preparation, I thought I would post a few choice quotes from the book.  This first one does not strive for profundity, but it is a good example of Hart’s lively style, and I laughed when I read it.  The target — ‘New Age’ spirituality — is suitably ripe and juicy.


“Here one may cultivate a private atmosphere of ’spirituality’ as undemanding and therapeutically comforting as one likes simply by purchasing a dream catcher, a few pure crystals, some books on the goddess, a Tibetan prayer wheel, a volumes of Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung or Robert Graves, a Nataraja figurine, a purse of tiles engraved with runes, a scattering of Pre-Raphaelite prints drenched in Celtic twilight, an Andean flute, and so forth, until this mounting congeries of string, worthless quartz, cheap joss sticks, backed clay, kitsch, borrowed iconography, and fraudulent scholarship reaches that mysterious point of saturation at which religion becomes indistinguishable from interior decorating.”

David Bentley Hart
Atheist Delusions.

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