New Age in Norway - Ingvild Sælid Gilhus

New Age in Norway - Ingvild Sælid Gilhus

Alternative Medicine: Health-oriented Spiritual Practices in Norway

New Age in Norway - Ingvild Sælid Gilhus

Anne Kalvig [+-]
Anne Kalvig is Professor of Religious Studies at University of Stavanger, Norway. Her research interests are alternative therapy, alternative medicine, new religiousity, spiritualism, shamanism, popular culture, gender and mediatization of religion. She is author of several articles, chapters and monographs, including The Rise of Contemporary Spiritualism (2016), and has co-edited the anthology Living Religion (2015, in Norwegian). She is chair of Finyar, The Nordic Association for Information and Research on New Religious Movements and Alternative Spirituality.


Alternative medicine and alternative therapy (CAM) is a vital part of New Age or alternative spirituality, in Norway as well as elsewhere. However, those health-oriented, spiritual practices conventionally labelled alternative medicine might be analyzed from a wide range of different perspectives. I provide a sketchy overview of the phenomenon of alternative medicine and therapy in Norway and seek to give a preliminary answer to what it means to consider such practices as religion. I use the spatial model of religion outlined by Smith (2003) and further adapted by Gilhus (2013) for the purpose of categorizing and gaining a certain overview of CAM in Norway “as” religion/resembling religion or religious or spiritual practices. This categorization is not meant to be conclusive; rather, it is more of a model “to think with” and part of a further discussion of the relationship between alternative medicine and religion towards the end of the chapter.

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Kalvig, Anne. Alternative Medicine: Health-oriented Spiritual Practices in Norway. New Age in Norway. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 119-138 Mar 2017. ISBN 9781781794173. Date accessed: 16 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.28882. Mar 2017

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