New Age interest in Native American spirituality: negative and positive perceptions of New Age interest in and use of Native American spirituality
Western and New Age interest in Native American spirituality is often approached as an empty, consumerist phenomenon. Much research has been done on the negative effects of this phenomenon. This thesis explores both the alleged negative and the potentially positive consequences of New Age interest in Native American spirituality through the opinions of New Age critics, proponents and Native Americans themselves. A specific emphasis is laid on positive effects of western interest in Native American spirituality as this information seems to be lacking. Analysis of scholarly literature and primary sources related to reception studies provide the grounds on which the claim is made that there are both negative and positive sides to the phenomenon and that New Age Neo-Native spirituality cannot just be written off as empty consumerism. The research provides a basis for the ongoing conversation regarding cultural appropriation and western interest in non-western phenomena. It will provide a level of understanding and open-mindedness for further explorations.
Faculteit der Letteren