Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem, Heart Chakra of Planet Earth: the Local and the Global in Glastonbury

Bowman, Marion I. (2005). Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem, Heart Chakra of Planet Earth: the Local and the Global in Glastonbury. Numen, 52(2) pp. 157–190.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/1568527054024722

Abstract

Glastonbury, a small town in the south west of England, is the focus for a variety of spiritual seekers and religious practitioners. It therefore provides an interesting and appropriate context in which to explore the relationship between the local and the global in the contemporary spiritual milieu.

This article explores the extent to which Glastonbury has claimed a "serial centrality" over the centuries in relation to different religious trends, first within Christianity and, in the course of the twentieth century, within a growing number of worldviews.

Highlighting similarities and tensions between the competing visions and discourses to be found there, the article examines issues surrounding the negotiation of the local and the global for a variety of groups and individuals.

Despite the element of change (indeed exoticism) in some of the manifestations of contemporary spirituality in Glastonbury, there is, nevertheless, a considerable degree of continuity in relation to the vernacular tradition there.

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