What exactly is the “New Age”?

IP asks: “I always hear the term ‘new age’ especially in Music CD genre.  I found out that I bought new age CD’s featuring Enya.  Just what do you mean when you say ‘new age’ and is there any harm in listening to new age music?”

The official definition of the New Age from the American Heritage Dictionary goes like this: “Of or relating to a complex of spiritual and consciousness-raising movements originating in the 1980s and covering a range of themes from a belief in spiritualism and reincarnation to advocacy of holistic approaches to health and ecology.”

I usually explain “New Age” as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of beliefs and practices that emphasizes the self over the divine. New Agers believe that humans and the universe are all one and are inter-connected and that we’re all divine (pantheism). Their god is an impersonal energy force (chi, ki, prana, universal life force) and there are no organized religions or churches.

But don’t take my word for it. For a more thorough understanding of the New Age, read Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life by the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue.

There is nothing wrong with a Christian listening to New Age music. The only time there is real danger for the Christian’s soul is when they begin to adopt aspects of the New Age belief system that are not compatible with Christianity.

I would also recommend that if a particular recording artist or company promotes these beliefs, a Christian might want to reconsider allowing his or her hard-earned dollars to keep them in business. 

However, I reviewed Enya’s site and saw nothing overtly New Age in her lyrics but she does get involved in a fictional language called Loxian which is little strange. It was developed as a result of her work on the Tolkien films, Lord of the Rings.

She says: “The Loxians, are much like us. They’re in space, somewhere in the night. They’re looking out, they’re mapping the stars, and wondering if there is anyone else out there. It’s to do with that concept: are we alone in the universe?” 

Send your New Age questions to newage@womenofgrace.com

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