POPULAR RELIGIOUS READING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY
The Czech spiritual market is today as developed as that of western European countries. De-traditionalised and individualised holistic milieu has created a demand for spiritual literature and magazines as well as other marketable goods ('magic' stones, amulets, horoscopes, natural drugs etc.). This paper attempts to analyse the character and sources of contemporary best selling spiritual literature and its readership in the Czech Republic. It also provides a case study of a Prague spiritual bookshop and its comparison with five other Czech spiritual outlets (including an Internet outlet). The results clearly show that marketing spirituality has become a mainstream phenomenon with regard to all gender, age and class categories, although there was found to be an over presence of older middle-aged women among the buyers. There is emphasized 'churchless' and 'nonreligious' character of the buyers and the best selling books, that include predominantly those referring to 'modern' and 'esoteric' western or 'ethnic' spiritualities. The supply side comprises both special and general publishers, the former having been more successful in specialised bookshops and spiritual outlets and the latter in addressing the wider population (including via the Internet).
Z. R. Nespor, Sociologicky ustav AV CR, Jilska 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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