Designing Rites to Re-Enchant Secularised Society: Cases from Contemporary Sweden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Detraditionalization in late modernity has both affected traditional religion and the domain of clinical therapy. New varieties of spiritualized therapy are rapidly increasing in contemporary Sweden, typical of which is to have added healing rhetoric to their agenda, such as "find your inner self" or "develop your inner potential". Four common denominators seem to guide these practices: self-made leaders, individual-centered rites, realization of one’s Self, and intense emotions. We might also add a fifth aspect: profit. Rites have become a commodity and are sold as liberating practices for burnt-out souls or for people in pursuit of self-realization.
Sweden, which is said to be one of the most secularized societies in the world, instead has allowed the public domain to be colonized by new, spiritualized practices. Sold as therapy, the services of new spiritual leaders offer anti-stress techniques to prevent burnout, or leaders are trained to develop their leadership in coaching activities. The new rites,which in the 1970s would have been classified as New Age and restricted to the private domain, are thus becoming integrated into the public domain of Swedish society.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History of Religions


  • New spiritual practices, therapy, coaching activities, commodification of rites
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflexivity, Media, Design and Visuality
EditorsGregor Ahn, Axel Michaels
ISBN (Print)978-3447062046
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series


Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)