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Astrology and Popular Religion in the Modern West

Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement
by Nicholas Campion
ISBN: 9781409435143
Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook; 264 pages
Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.39 cm


This book explores an area of contemporary religion, spirituality and popular culture which has not so far been investigated in depth, the phenomenon of astrology in the modern west. Locating modern astrology historically and sociologically in its religious, New Age and millenarian contexts, Nicholas Campion considers astrology’s relation to modernity and draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews with leading modern astrologers to present an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the origins and nature of New Age ideology. This book challenges the notion that astrology is either ‘marginal’ or a feature of postmodernism. Concluding that astrology is more popular than the usual figures suggest, Campion argues that modern astrology is largely shaped by New Age thought, influenced by the European Millenarian tradition, that it can be seen as an heir to classical Gnosticism and is part of the vernacular religion of the modern west.


‘This is a wonderful book, which has a lot of important things to say, not just about astrology, but about the nature of modern Western society.’
~ Ronald Hutton, University of Bristol, UK

‘Not concerned with the truth of its claims, Campion establishes a foundation for sociological inquiry to close a lacuna in understanding astrology’s cultural status in contemporary Anglo-American society. To this end, he examines apocalyptic millenarianism, the New Age movement, Christian and “scientistic” rivalry in relation to the persistent fascination with the language of zodiac signs and the “judicial” astrological industry that has arisen from it. Campion’s comprehensive approach ranges from fortune-telling, media popularity and the complex skills involved with the discipline to philosophical and theological concerns with ethics.’
~ Michael York, Cherry Hill Seminary, USA and Co-director London Academy for Cultural and Educational Studies

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