Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Revitalization Movements

  • Susan Love BrownEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_200213-1

Revitalization movements arise from the stress created when people are faced with changes that happen so quickly that they find it difficult to adjust, often due to the sudden introduction of new technologies and forcible changes in long-standing customs, natural disasters, warfare, or severe oppression due to conquest or colonization. Rooted in the human need for stability, predictability, and a sense of well-being, revitalization movements are a universal response to massive change, although they take different forms across cultures. Many revitalization movements take the form of new religions or religious communities. They not only provide solace for the perceived loss that change often brings, but a way of resolving the difficulties caused by the stress in communion with others.

The concept of revitalization was introduced by psychological anthropologist Anthony F. C. Wallace in his classic article (Wallace 1956). In that article, Wallace defines them as “a deliberate, organized,...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA