CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

londonThe 2008 International Conference
Twenty Years and More: Research into Minority Religions, New Religious Movements and 'the New Spirituality'

An International Conference organized by INFORM and CESNUR in association with ISORECEA at the London School of Economics, 16-20th April 2008

Playing with a tradition or belonging to another tradition?

by Régis Dericquebourg (“Religions, laïcités, Sociétés” CNRS - University Charles De Gaulle-Lille3, France)

A paper presented at the 2008 International Conference, London, UK. Preliminary version. Please do not reproduce or quote without the consent of the author.


Workshop: The Gnostic’s belief In some Minority religious groups. Chairman: A. Santucci.

In this communication, we will examine the idea according to which “marginal” spiritual movements are makeshift variations on a tradition and that those who follow them are DIY artists. From our point of view, what have been qualified as DIY are in fact specific systems of belief, in particular Gnosticism. Our comments concern groups that are classified within the appellation ‘New Age’.

The idea of a connection between New Age and gnosis is not a new one. It is to be found in a certain number of texts and from this point of view we refer to the book by Massimo Introvigne[1]. The author mentions the presence of gnosis in New Age ideology in the form of elements of theosophy or in the form of an element of Gnostic Christianity even though he asserts (p. 11)) that New Age cannot be reduced to gnosis. It is a fair comment as New Age is multi-faceted. It’s true that since its creation, for example, new psychotherapies have been included in it, that are not part of traditional psychology, even if they are practiced by university-trained psychologists. Claude Rivière[2] also points out the presence of an esotericism alongside reinterpretations of shamanism in New Age. The relationship between the latter and gnosis was also evident to the sociologist Jean Séguy because he suggests calling these movements: sapienzo-gnostic networks - thus showing his connections with the doctrines of wisdom and Gnosticism.

We consider that gnosis pervades not only New Age. It is also to be found in the Healing Churches[3]. We’ve shown that the diet advised by the founder of the Universal Alliance [4] (called the disciples of Georges Roux, known as the “Christ of Montfavet”) was based on a Gnostic conception of man and of nature[5] and that Gnostic esotericism permeated its teachings as well as its Romanesque work (in metaphoric form). We have also shown that the teachings of Ron Hubbard have drawn on several Gnostic ideas[6]. The same is true of “Invitation à la vie”, the circles of Bruno Gröning and Antoinism (mesmerism) as well as in the Raëlian Church, under an evhemerist form[7].


The criteria of Gnosticism

Before examining the presence of an esotericism in its Gnostic form in New Age, its characteristics should be brought to mind. These are described by Antoine Faivre[8] and Jean Pierre Laurant[9]. Esotericism appears as a way of thinking that is identifiable thanks to six fundamental criteria distributed according to a variable dosage within a vast historical and concrete context. For the authors, four criteria are required before one can qualify a belief as esoteric. These are: 1) the symbolic or actual correspondences between all parts of the visible and invisible universe (such as the seven rays, the seven planets, parts of the human body or even a harmony between the sacred Texts and nature). 2) The idea that nature is alive in all of its parts, that it is run through by a light, that it is governed by an interplay of attraction and repulsion as well as by a magnetism. I think that we can add that it includes vibrations because these are mentioned in theosophy. This nature is governed by hidden laws and forces – the knowledge of which allows one to act on health and destiny by the intermediary of elixirs, stones, metals or plants to remedy physical and psychological dysfunctions. Nevertheless, the main aim of the Gnostics is knowledge. 3) The imagination and knowledge. Esotericism imagines all sorts of intermediaries (transmitting angels, space guides, gurus, spiritual masters – sometimes hidden so as to connect the invisible to the visible. 4) The experience of transmutation that makes esotericism more than a form of spirituality. It is more than a simple transformation as knowledge doesn’t produce a linear change in the individual. It changes the plan. It produces a second birth based on a transmutation according to a marked path (œuvre au noir, œuvre au blanc, œuvre au rouge) on a part of Nature and/or the experimenter himself.

Antoine Faivre adds two secondary criteria to these four criteria. The first is the practice of concordance. This consists of establishing common denominators between all traditions so as to gain illumination through knowledge of a common-core exceeding all traditions so as to gain access to a gnosis of higher quality. The second is the transmission. An esoteric teaching may be transmitted from master to disciple so as to produce in the latter a second birth on condition that the knowledge transmitted is valid. Transmission can also be by way of an initiation whatever its form: progressive or key-experience.

Gnosticism is not only to be found in the works of Gnostic writers. Original Christianity included Gnostic elements contained in the apocryphal Gospels, those that were rejected during the first council of Nicea (325) and a part of which were discovered in Dag Hammadi in 1945). According to Michel Quesnel[10] they can be classed into three categories: the Judeo-Christian Gospels, Gnostic Gospels (in particular those discovered in Dag Hammadi), fiction-Gospels that romanticize a life of Jesus. Whilst examining these writings, the religious historian Bart Erhman[11] characterizes this Christianity by seven criteria. 1) In it we find the idea of the main primordial spirits according to which man is a spiritual being imprisoned in a material body without necessarily being aware of the fact. This spiritual being is a divine spark. 2) Salvation is obtained thanks to the saving knowledge that Jesus came to deliver to humans on Earth in order to awaken in them the divine spark. 3) The true message of Jesus is secret. He who knows how to interpret it will not know death.  4) Jesus reestablishes original unity in creation – which has fallen into a duality (Spirit and body). 5) The majority of Christian Gnostics advise rigorous ascetism in order to control and to punish a body that carries evil like the matter that it’s made from. 6) They invent intermediary entities between God and man. 7) They claim their status of spiritual elite.

The presence of Gnosticism in a sample of New Age announcements.

We wanted to test the presence of gnosticism in New Age. To do so, we took the electronic messages (e-mail) that have been sent by the company incipit-soleil (spiritsoleil.com) between 2005 and March 2008. After deleting the repeat messages, there were 141 left.[12] We also discarded an introductory course in dowsing which appeared to have no other aim than to teach how to use a pendulum and was thus difficult to categorize. We recorded them all in a dossier.

When asked by e-mail, the webmaster of this site defined his site as follows:

“The object of spiritsoleil.com is to defragment, to favour meetings between the diversity of experiences and paths towards consciousness and self-awareness … To allow the exploration of these fields away from any dogma, of revealed intangible truths, free of bias, free of judgment, in the respect of beingness. This is the reason for the practical tools and support allowing the meeting of initiatives and propositions by the initiators/practitioners with the public (schedule announcement, practitioners’ directory, information, mailing,...) Obviously, this site is outside of the usual scope insofar as it naturally challenges the institutional order and beliefs, the dominant ideology and thinking, the official culture; or at least  questions them whilst offering other paths with reflections and experiments. In agreement with our approach, we don’t in principle select the information and proposals broadcast  just when they respect human dignity and beingness and aim at independence of beingness - leaving everyone the freedom to choose, keep, select,  reject or experiment for himself. The audience? You, me, the other, everyone and anyone, the citizen, the human being.
More specifically, based on the statistical information at our disposal:
- 1 million visitors per year to the site
- France (65%), Switzerland (12%), Belgium (7%), Luxembourg (2%), other francophone countries (4%), other countries (10%)
- 12,000 subscribers to our "push" information (newsletter, mailing,...)
- 80% women, 20% men between 18 and 77 yrs
- countries: France (75%), Switzerland (10%), Belgium (5%), Luxembourg (1%), other francophone countries (6%),          other countries (3%).”

It is a site that may be qualified as New Age.

a) We have divided the announcements into four categories depending on their content.

a) Gnosis. We have considered that a proposed course or conference could be qualified as gnostic when the following words are mentioned therein: the so-called basic elements ( “water, earth, air, fire”), a liberation from the limitations of the body with a view to an awakening of the “ spiritual being” that is said to be within, a reminder of the Cathars or the Grail, a transposition of alchemy or a direct reference to alchemy (excepting its poetic form such as the alchemy of a couple), an activation of the  “ body of light”, angelology, a reference to Essenians, the mention of “ primordial rays”, an invitation to the discovery of the hidden meaning of the Hebraic letters, numerology, the mention of correspondences (the twelve trees of the body  matched with the trees of the spirit as well as with the guardian angels), a reference to Rosicrucianism, Gnostic Ascension, a divine connection and pranic food, tarot, Agartha, the awakening of the  divine spark within, the seven bodies, the going beyond of dualities so as to regain unity, sacred geometry, magnetism (mesmerism).


b) Well being. The announcements basically refer to massage courses: Japanese massage, ayurvedic massage, Lympho-Energy.

c) Alternative medicine. We have brought together in this category the announcements for remedies and not for well-being as such. We have chosen the references to elixirs, to lithotherapy, to the rebalancing of meridians, to a rebalancing of energies, to the improvement of vital force and of sexuality.

C) Spirituality. Under this heading we have filed announcements for courses or conferences destined to “finding the truth” – i.e. divine; to having a spiritual experience or even introductory courses in Celtic religion, to techniques in vibratory meditation, to shamanism, to awakening for the liberation, to the ‘sô’ of healing, to Buddhism and the tantra.

D) Psychotherapies. In this category we have include references: to the discovery of the “family novel” as Freud calls it (psycho-genealogy, family constellations), to bioenergetics, to the freeing from constraints of old subconscious programmes, to self-discovery as seen from a multiple dimension of the human being, to techniques of personal development including those that offer having recourse to the divine condition, to therapy by ocular movements, to modified states of awareness, to breathing and biology. We observe that there are few “new psychotherapies”, not like before such as transactional analysis, neuro-linguistic programming, rebirthing, biodynamic therapy and art-therapy. The ones that we did come across in our corpus sometimes establish a link between the body, psychological activity and a supra-empiric domain. Sometimes, we find a reference to archangels or archetypes.

We have calculated the proportion of each category in the 141 announcements.





Psychotherapy, self development



Wellness and well being



Unofficial medicines











100 99.98


We can say that the number of courses and conferences in the “psychotherapy and self- development” category is higher than for the others. In our sample, New Age is a field for resolution of personal problems. But the category “gnosis” comes second with close to one third of the items. Gnosis is in reality more represented if one considers the basic references to non-recognized medicines as well as the references to psychotherapies and personal development are sometimes Gnostic. In fact, our categories are based on the aim: well-beingness, healing illnesses, solving psychic problems take neither basic theoretical references, nor tools into account. However, we see that in alternative medicines the aim is to heal but that the tools are sometimes: stones and elixirs prescribed according to their supposed virtues by entering into a system of correspondences, a coming into agreement with the laws of the universe (laws of energy, for example) or even a contact with “our guides” and “our beings of light”). Therefore, we also find elements of esotericism. From a methodological point of view, one would have to have recourse to an analysis of the lexical content to distinguish the categories of vocabulary used in the announcements. In this case, the hypothesis of the primacy of Gnostic vocabulary may be formulated.

We also see that certain New Age psychotherapies excluding those that are based on the analysis of the family novel make no reference to a scientific basis but that they do use a system of correspondences that may be considered as esoteric. The example of a psychological theory of the New Age[13] which is not in the sample proves this. The presupposed notions of this  psychology are: a) A. Bailey’s esoteric astrology in which the writers admit having drawn a large part of their exposé, b) a system of planetary correspondences where the stars are connected to the organs, colours, predispositions to illness, c) a symbolism (various sorts of crosses),d) the science of triangles, an esoteric psychology of the seven rays and considerations on the supposed chakras. (See table of correspondence in annex). In it we find three cosmic laws that govern the universe (the law of synthesis, the law of attraction and repulsion, the law of economy)  as well as the mention of the astral body. All in all, everything amounts to no more than a bringing into connection of elements that take a symbolic value thanks to correspondences so as to create a virtual being connected to the cosmos. This theoretical corpus is applied to the  relation of help. Healing would then be achieved by bringing the defective elements (astral, vibrations), what we have called a mediation via contribution in the healing Churches. One of the writers says he belongs to Martinism. The adjective Gnostic may be  applied to this psychology. The same doctrinal basis is to be found in the announcements that we have allocated to the “psychotherapy and personal development” category in our sample.

If we limit ourselves to the announcements concerning spirituality and gnosis, we can compare their respective importance.












Total                               60       100(99.99)

The same could be said about spirituality which is sometimes of the type “Christian esotericism” in the section “spirituality”. In particular, we are thinking of the announcements that use the word  “christlike” (the Christ is a Master amongst others) and not the word ‘Christian’ (the Christ is the only redeemer).

We simply note that there is a Gnostic basis that goes beyond this category: “gnosis” of our  classification. We observe that there is no introductory course in the thinking of Gnostic writers. The way it works is as if Gnosticism was cut up into sections and one is introduced to a  component. Is this the diluted esotericism that certain writers have recently tapped into in novels that have become best-sellers ? In any case, we can make the same comment about psychotherapy and personal development courses. They are focused on one aspect: family constellations, psychic wounds of childhood, but not in a general exploration of the past and the relationship with others as in the well-known systems of psychotherapy.

A toying ?

From the point of view of spirituality, we have observed that the New Age seems to carry the mark of gnosis. It also includes marginal practices. Thus, in the advertisement for the course, the Buddhism that is proclaimed is not the Buddhism that claims to be “official”. These are more like courses on contemplation which precisely aim at healing or at feeling inner harmony, i.e. an appropriation of the Buddhist idea by a teacher/master for ends that differ from salvation. We didn’t find any syncretism, not even simple amalgams.

However, believers who are “off track” can, on their own, put together theories that are personal. These are then called individual “toyings” [14]. It is an appropriation of beliefs corresponding to a personal quest for meanings or benefactions. This doesn’t seem to be limited to New Agers.

Christians have always added all sorts of superstitions to their creed to keep misfortune at bay. They consult soothsayers, astrologers when they are subject to distress or mediums when the mourning of a kin is difficult to endure, and they do so even if their church, since the Council of Ancyra (314), has been wary about this type of practice. Christians read astrology columns in the newspapers. Catholics facing an illness may use whatever resources they can and hang pieces of cloth (hankies, bibs) that belong to the sufferer on a sacred tree, said to have been touched by a non-official or questioned “holy person”. This tree could even have been touched by an authentic holy person who, according to local legends that challenge the works of historians, might have come that way. A catholic can even pray before the chapel of a so-called holy person while knowing that his/her religious legitimacy and even sometimes his/her existence is being questioned. The local priest and bishop may have no interest in it or may even be annoyed by it all. References in the oral tradition to successes regarding illnesses or misfortune  is enough for a believer to make a devotion that is said to be popular.

Facing these practices and beliefs, Christian Churches had to go into negotiation. Thus, it is useful to refer to a book by Claude Lecouteux[15]. This historian relates “death” and “resurrection” experiences that Christians are said to have experienced; these, for the theologians, have been the cause of dilemma regarding interpretation. Amongst these, he relates the case of Godeschalc (Neumünster, Holstein, 1190) who died and then resurrected; clerics say that the soul came out (and not the subtle body or the Double). These are the ancient versions of Channeling and “Near Death experiences” that are precious to New-Age. He talks about visions occurring while Christians are dreaming, visions of ghosts (who became “suffering souls” (P. 69-70). The author calls to mind a strange idea like the transformation of human beings into werewolves. This was interpreted, thus taken into account - and not rejected as extravagant - by Guillaume d’Auvergne (1180-1249, bishop of Paris in 1228 in his study/work about the universe (De Universita) as a possessing. Similarly, for Saint Augustin (354-430), “phantasticum” is a diabolic possessing. Claude Lecouteux relates as well the out-of-body experience with autoscopy that theologians have interpreted according to Church teachings. This way, some beliefs that were difficult to eradiate could survive as recovered heterodoxies. As well, the “Roman Genius” (superior powers of God) were “integrated to Christianity and the belief goes on under the new garment of the angel”, here the Guardian angel. (p.185-186). For Lecouteux, “The Church has never succeeded in rooting out all that relates to death and beyond” (p.17). And he goes on (p.186): “A huge work of research would be needed to find out all that the medieval Church integrated and assimilated as far as native beliefs are concerned. Certain things have been detected but there is so much left to unveil!”

Extrasensory perceptions could also be mentioned. We learn from Georges Minois[16] that theologians from the beginning of the Christian era condemned superstitious techniques amongst which we find the various forms of clairvoyance (second sight) but that they granted a special position to a form of clairvoyance called: “the gift of prophecy (le don de prophétie)” to consider the predictions received from Christian ecstatic that the author considers close to Gnostic Christianity via the idea of divine embodiment.

Therefore it seems that the assembling of beliefs and practices sometimes called “toying” (individual “creations”) could just as much affect a major faith as it has affected the New Age. The New Age makes the connections between the different aspects on its own, while in the case we have just been talking about these connections are made by theologians. And in the end, are we dealing with ‘toyings’ in such cases?

 Besides, the browsing of the New Ager is not necessarily incoherent. It can be governed by a vision or a rationality which is conscious or unconscious. New Agers do not take all the numerous and available offers. They make choices. They fulfill a quest within certain groups of people. An analysis of the individual journey based on thorough interviews would make it possible to understand its rationality. The incoherence of choices regarding practices and meanings may only be apparent, just like is apparent the journey of a patient who engages in all sorts of training for personal enhancement. Regarding the question of incoherence and rationality, here is the example of a child who is asked to put some objects into some kind of order. He makes stacks of them, but these do not fit with the criteria of usefulness, color and size. This may look incoherent but the psychologist may find out that he ranked them according to his feelings toward them. He made a stack with those he likes, another one with those he doesn’t like, another one with those he likes well enough… or may have invented two classes and thus two stacks: Naughty objects and nice objects. Criteria chosen to class them may baffle the observer who does not know the mode of cognitive operation (rationality) of the child. There may also be a goal within a personal quest that expresses itself through nomadism in New Age movements. Based on a vision, the New Ager reads commercials, listens to New Age adherents, takes into consideration his means and availability and makes his/her choice. Even if he/she follows various fashions and is captivated by a type of training and lectures, he/she is not “toying”, he/she is following fashion.

Some extend further the concept of toying and consider the movements of the New Age as toyings, even toyings with the tradition (the traditions would be a more adequate depiction if these authors refer to the main denominations).  Are the quoted movements toying with a tradition? 

The concept of toying was drawn up in ethnology by Claude Lévi-Strauss.  It indicates the execution of a great number of jobs with "very small means", done without resorting to a project that an engineer would operationalize[17].  We will not take up again Derrida’s challenge of the distinction between the handyman and the engineer[18] because the article would lengthen. But we saw it: the religious groups concerned in this article are Gnostic. The Gnosticism can appear at various degrees.  One can retain only certain elements. The essence is it includes the guiding principles without being mixed up with Christianity. When it pretends to be Christic, it is Gnostic Christian which is not a toying but a form of Christianity abandoned at the time of the first council of Nicea.  When it draws upon Buddhism and Hinduism, it borrows elements that theosophy or Gnostic people have included in their writings.  In addition, with regard to comparison, may we say that the orthodox believer who does not look elsewhere is an engineer of faith unlike the New Age handyman?  The question is worth discussion since to pose a term of a dichotomy calls the other term that contributes to its definition. 


Playing with tradition or different tradition? 

To say that believers toy (“bricolent”) with tradition gives the impression that we are talking about something which has been clearly defined. However, when one looks at the concept of tradition, one realizes that it poses a problem. The ethnologist Gerard Lenclud[19] gives a critical analysis of the use of the word tradition in ethnology and sociology.  Let us take up his remarks in keeping with what is useful to the matter in question. 1) One cannot accept the definition of tradition as "what transmits". Because everything that transmits is not a tradition.  What one presents as a tradition would be gotten from a filtering of what is old.  It would be a current construction made of past elements that one chose to transmit and not a simple repetition of the past.  2) Ethnologists have considered that the tradition of the traditional societies is a permanence of the past in the present without knowing their past, i.e. without having the means of checking if what they observe at the time of their investigation and what they allot to the tradition is really an identical reproduction of the “original behaviors”. For example, the ethnologist can observe that, at a same given time and in similar groups, the "traditional" rituals vary and that the actors have a margin of freedom in their achievement.  In addition, it is the ethnologist who chooses to name as traditional the practices and statements that he collects and arranges. Thus the idea of a tradition as a conservation of the past is not so obvious. 3) Tradition would be, according to an idea of Pouillon taken up by the author, "a point of view" that "the men of the present develop on what has preceded them, an interpretation of the past made according to rigorously contemporary criteria" to find solutions referred as from the past but thought now. "In this acceptance, it is not (or not necessarily) what it has always been, it is what one decides it to be".  Therefore, it is for Pouillon a "retro-projection", a "reversed filiations", tradition, the past are shaped in a certain way by the men of the present to guarantee a contemporary way of living (engineers’ strategy or toying?).  One can see here the beginning of the difficulties of the discussions on the topic "tradition and modernity" that occupied many sociologists for a while since the presumed traditions, that one compares to modernity, are the products of modernity. 4) With the accumulation of archives, books and museums, with antique dealers, and all the historians and guardians of the past, the modern societies should be the most traditional because the weight of the past is much more present in them than in the societies known as traditional.  Traditionalism would consist, according to Boyer, of choosing aspects of the past and preferring them to others.  This is valid also for traditional societies that could favor the telling of certain myths rather than others (but in traditional societies one does not find people fiercely defending the letter of the oral tradition). 5) The societies of writing do not escape the construction of tradition. One simply does second readings; one favors the so-called good version over another. One can see it in the reference to sacred texts or in the revisionisms, and also in the setting apart of all the old texts that propose a "radical innovation".

This digression tends to show that the concept of tradition is not sufficiently supported on a sociological basis for it to be the basis of a distinction between the religions and the "designs of the world".  It is a fortiori impossible to say that some believers play or toy with a tradition.  They resume or rewrite the past beliefs and practices or they innovate on the same grounds as the established Churches or initiatory orders by proclaiming that it is old tradition. When movements have proclaimed they are radically new, sometimes the sociologist reminds them in looking at the history of ideas that their innovation is not as new as they claim. 

 Those who adhere to the New Age movements are not playing with so-called traditions. They are building their Buddhism, like the contemporary Buddhists rebuild Buddhism to show as they have often done[20] since the eighteenth century, that this religion provides Westerners with answers adapted to the problems of their time (it is presented as ecological, as a technique of exploration of oneself, as an anti-stress...).  They reinvent a shamanism.  They build a presumably traditional alternative medicine that sometimes uses remedies described as ancestral or age-old.  They filter wisdoms as it has always been done to justify an action in the world, and according to us they are also and currently mainly Gnostic, i.e. they perpetuate a system of thought altered according to the search of direction, salvation, happiness by revising theosophies, Gnostic authors or in innovating according to principles which are those of esotericism.  The current New Age is perhaps a return of the Gnostic way of thinking in a "diluted" form. 



In this communication, we have tried to show that New Agers with a spiritual vocation and therapeutic vocation have conveyed, like certain minority religious groups of mostly unusual therapeutic type, a Gnostic ideology. They do not toy with the tradition and all the more so because tradition is perhaps only a false sociological concept. They belong to different rationalities. 

Beyond these considerations, it is necessary to return to the concept of institution. It is both what is "instituted" and its excess - an "instituter".  The great denominations and the "cults" as institutions have a social dynamic of change.


[1]  Massimo Introvigne : Le New Age des origines à nos jours. Paris, Dervy, 2005.

[2] Claude Rivière : Réactivations et interprétation de la magie, Religiologiques 18, automne 1998, PP.13-30.

[3] A rapid presentation of this is to be found in the work by Michel Meslin (ed) : La quête de guérison, Paris, Bayard , p. 358-361 which borrows certain aspects of our contribution from Massé R. et Benoist J. : Convocations thérapeutiques du sacré, Paris Karthala, 2002, Chap. 2..

[4] Régis Dericquebourg : L’ésotérisme dans le message de G. Roux dit « Le Christ de Montfavet »,  Cesnur conference 7-9 June 2007, Bordeaux (France), workshop : The globalization of esotericism, 1, June 7 2007, session . On the website of the Cesnur (French).

[5] Régis Dericquebourg : L’alliance universelle, work in preparation.

[6] Régis Dericquebourg : Esotericism and scientology, Workshop : Toward a sociology of esotericism, , STS 16, Friday, 7th , july 2007….) 29 th conference of the SISR, July, 23-27, 2007. Leipzig.

[7] Pour l’évhémérisme, see Antoine Faivre : Accès à l’ésotérisme occidental, Paris, Gallimard , 1996,p.

[8] Antoine Faivre : L’ésotérisme, Paris, P.U.F., p.13-21.

[9] Jean-Pierre Laurant ; L’ésotérisme, Paris, Cerf, 1993.

[10] Michel Quesnel : L’histoire des Evangiles, Paris, Cerf, 1987, p.86-94

[11] Bart Ehrman : Les christianisme disparus, Paris, Bayard, 2007 (2003)

[12] Nous avons profité du délai pour la rédaction de cette communication pour ajouter des mails reçus jusqu’en 2008 pour accroître notre échantillon.

[13] Thierry Bécourt et Serge Pastor : Lumières pour la psychologie du Nouvel âge, Institut de psychanimie ed., 1993.

[14] Danielle Hervieu Léger: La religion en miette ou la question des sectes (Religions in pieces or the cult issue), Paris, Calman-Levy, 2001, p.122-134.

[15] Claude Lecouteux: Fées, sorcières et loups-garous au Moyen âge (Fairies, witches and werewolves in the middle-ages) Paris, Imago, 1992.

[16] Georges Minois : Histoire de l’avenir. De la prophétie à la prospective (History of the future. From prophecy to prospect). Paris, Fayard, 1996. cité par Marc-Antoine Berthod, in Doute, Croyances, divination, (Doubt, beliefs, divination) Lausanne, Antipodes, 2007.p.40 et 41.

[17]  Claude Lévi-strauss: The wild thought  Paris, Plon, 1960.  P. 27.

[18] Jacques Derrida:  The structure, the sign and play in the speech of the social sciences.  In the Writing and the difference   Paris, Threshold, 1967, p. 409-429.  OCR & Spellcheck:  SK, Aerieus (ae-lib-org.ua), 2004. 

[19] The tradition is not any more what it was..., Ground n°9, To live the house, October 1987, http//terrain.revue.org/document 3195. HTML)

[20] cf Joseph Tamney:  American Society in the Buddhist Mirror New York, London, 1992. 

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