It appears that the majority of sociological investigations into the role spirituality plays within society – the Christian church is left out of the equation and the main thrust is recognising the spiritual benefits of society that are outworked through the new age.
This raises many questions about why the church is deemed not to be central or even having a place within the schema of spirituality…The delineation of what is deemed “Religious” and “Spiritual;” where the religious is deemed to observe an external authority and the spiritual an internal authority is a created falsehood and one in which the perhaps the church has fostered in many ways to its detriment.
Christianity while considered a religion, its also a deeply personal experience, where while its true the Christian submits to an external authority (God and the local church) the Christian also receives deep within an impartation of the Holy Spirit. Therefore within the sociological framework of Spirituality – Christianity should be included within that schema.
Within the authoritarian schema and practice of religion, the new age has the same authoritive structures where an individual is deemed to be the holy man who points the way – take the Dali Lama for example. A Buddhist monk who leads someone into a spiritual meditation is no different to a new age guru who does likewise….and perhaps even more so the monk or guru exercises more direct authority over the life of the adherent than what the position of a minister or priest does over the life of the Christian.