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Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
In a New Age community in Queenstown, Aotearoa/New Zealand, “healing” is a widely used term with spiritual, ecological and social implications that can be examined as a response to capitalism and climate change. It involves reclaiming and re-sacralizing connections and relationships towards re-enchantment. Participatory “connection,” with attending magical consciousness, is emphasized in opposition to the separations that are at the root of our climate crisis. In this context, and particularly as Aotearoa/New Zealand was spared the worst of the pandemic during my research, the social interruption presented by Covid-19 was widely understood as a time of hope and healing, accompanied by profound personal experiences. This understanding would come to clash with government solutions in the form of vaccinations, masks, and mandates, resulting ultimately in a protest at parliament taking shape as a festival. This thesis explores New Age responses to the pandemic in terms of myth, religiosity, and complex ontological dimensions of re-enchantment in the context of climate crisis, situating the conflict over healing as a problem for the Anthropocene. For this community, the pandemic as a cosmopolitical event offered an opportunity to protest “sick society,” its functioning and constructs for truth as nexused in the authority of vaccinations and mandates, in favor of a “new world.”
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