In this article, I argue that in contemporary neoliberal consumer societies, traditional religious missionizing activity is superseded by religious branding and marketing. An example of this at a national level is Estonia, a small secular society in Europe where the majority of the population defines itself as religiously unaffiliated. Over the last quarter-century, Estonia has been characterized by neoliberal reforms and governance and has seen the creation of a religious or spiritual marketplace. I examine three strategies for survival in this marketplace by using three examples: a native Neopagan association with legal status as a religious association; a Kriya Yoga community with legal entity status as a non-profit association; and a Neo-Tantric organization with legal entity status as a regular business enterprise. I show that despite the differences in their approaches, each case shows how branding and marketing are increasingly important for new religious groups seeking to establish a successful presence in contemporary neoliberal consumer society.
Research Article| February 01 2017
Survival Strategies of New Religions in a Secular Consumer Society: A Case Study from Estonia
Nova Religio (2017) 20 (3): 57–73.
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Ringo Ringvee; Survival Strategies of New Religions in a Secular Consumer Society: A Case Study from Estonia. Nova Religio 1 February 2017; 20 (3): 57–73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2017.20.3.57
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