Rebranding the soul

Rituals for the well-made man in market society

Authored by: Anne-Christine Hornborg

Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138182509
eBook ISBN: 9781315646435
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315646435-4

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Abstract

This chapter discusses how contemporary coaching and layman therapy can be discussed as modern revival movements adapted to contemporary individualistic and therapeutic society. It focuses on contemporary Sweden. The search for a soul to redeem has been transformed into new, religious concepts such as searching for the ‘the inner potential,’ or ‘the authentic me,’ and new ritualized, individual-centered practices are designed to provide help for the lost. Questions raised include: How do such practices designed to be experienced become means to achieving healing and better self-confidence? What visions and goals are implicitly built into these practices and communicated to society and the individual? In what ways are the new practices legitimized? How is the border between being religious and spiritual discussed? Is the search for the ‘authentic self’ a way of rebranding the soul by designing a model for the well-made citizen to adapt to market society? Has neoliberal society, in developing these new concepts and practices, succeeded in transforming even the human ‘soul’ into a product to be sold in the market?

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