New Religious of My Own Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1267 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion


The New Human Potential Movement answers current political, social, and spiritual needs. Characterized by a return to polytheism, the New Human Potential Movement also acknowledges the power of the individual to become a god too. Therefore, the New Human Potential Movement is equal parts religion, philosophy, and self-help movement. The religion formed in part to challenge the tyranny of monotheism and also draws from feminist neo-pagan religious traditions such as Wicca. However, the New Human Potential Movement is not neo-pagan. Ceremonial magick such as the type practiced by Aliester Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis fereconatures much more prominently in the ritual and theory of the New Human Potential Movement. An eclectic new religion, the New Human Potential Movement appeals to human beings from a wide range of social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Offering an alternative to old, outmoded religious doctrine, the New Human Potential Movement infuses religion with politics, social awareness, and psychological empowerment.

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The New Human Potential Movement began in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the city struggled to reconvene around its shared values. A city of such tremendous historical import and cultural cohesion should have been able to formulate a cohesive response to the natural disaster, but the failed response of the United States government forced too many of New Orleans residents out of their homes and places of employment. As a result, the city lost a significant number of residents who had previously been stalwarts in the religious community. Christian churches failed to bring the community together, and faith in the old religions such as that of Christianity was waning.

TOPIC: Term Paper on New Religious of My Own Assignment

A group of local and long-time residents had formed a study group years before the hurricane hit. The study group focused on the Theosopical Society, the Golden Dawn, spiritualism, and New Age philosophy. Occasionally the group would examine the impact of Tibetan Buddhism on their lives, and meditation sessions became a regular part of the group's practice. After a while, the group began incorporating the local voodoo traditions into its lexicon and canon of beliefs. An eclectic, typically New Orleans worldview was formed: one that combined magic with creative self-expression. Added to the mix was the fact that the members of the growing group were as diverse as any other in North America. Members were rich, poor, and everything in between. African-America, Creole, Jewish, and Native American members counted themselves as members of the group.

The group met twice a month at an alternating members' household. Most of the meetings took place at the homes of two individuals: Ms. Jane Conkey and Mr. James Delveaux. Delveaux had a soft spot for Crowley and the Golden Dawn traditions and built in his home a ritual room in which members could meditate and take part in ceremonial magic rites. Thus begun the ritualistic traditions of what would soon become the New Human Potential Movement.

An organically formed religion, none of its founders ever claimed credit for developing the central doctrines of the faith. In fact, a few members of the New Human Potential Movement deny that "religion" is the right word to use to describe their faith. Whether or not the New Human Potential Movement is a religion is currently a topic for debate among scholars. Just as Prothero notes that the Theosophical Movement has been occasionally dismissed as a cult, so too has the New Human Potential Movement. According to Prothero, Theosophy has been deemed a cult but it is not. It is also a misconception that theosophy developed as "an organization devoted in large measure to promoting Asian religious traditions," (Prothero 197). The New Human Potential Movement also acknowledged the wealth of wisdom contained within Asian religious traditions without being derivative thereof. The New Human Potential Movement shares much in common with… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "New Religious of My Own" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

New Religious of My Own.  (2011, November 22).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from

MLA Format

"New Religious of My Own."  22 November 2011.  Web.  2 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"New Religious of My Own."  November 22, 2011.  Accessed December 2, 2021.