The spiritual dimensions of rave culture

Dancing and the divine

In an increasingly secular age, an increasing number of people are distancing themselves from organised religion. As a result, communities have become splintered, and we are ushering in a new era of individualism. But there may be a way to escape this trap through immersing ourselves in rave culture, argues Robin Sylvan. In this article, he uncovers transformative nature of these experiences, and explains how raves can function as the new churches.


Every weekend in numerous locations around the planet, thousands of people regularly attend electronic dance music parties, also known as raves. Since the mid-to-late 1980s, raves and the culture surrounding them have become a huge global phenomenon that has made an enormous impact, not only in the lives of the people directly involved, but also on many aspects of larger mainstream popular culture as well. While most media accounts of raves sensationalize their negative features, emphasizing excesses of drug use an

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