In an article ‘Spiritual spending’ costs women £670m a year in today’s Daily Telegraph (free registration required, fake details okay!), a number of ‘alternative’ forms of spirituality are listed, including reflexology, acupuncture, massage, reiki, and so on. Apparently women are spending a lot of time and money on these ‘to combat the stress of modern life’. Christianity and other religions don’t even get a mention.
As has been suggested by others, there does seem to be a hunger for spirituality that the modern world doesn’t otherwise supply. I wonder what it is that these new age techniques provide that is lacking in Christianity? Or, contrariwise, what is it about Christianity that is unwelcome? Commitment perhaps? An accompanying social message? Or is it ‘post-imperialism’ — Christianity having ruled the roost in the west for so long, many people would rather look elsewhere, or perhaps don’t see anything particularly spiritual about the faithful few at their local church? Perhaps they want to associate with people of a similar age and don’t find that (or think they won’t) at the church either?