New Age is a label used to describe a subculture that emerged in the twentieth century that embraces a wide and disparate collection of spiritual, religious and lifestyle practices and ideas. If one looks to the scholarly literature, it is difficult to find consistency in attempts at defining and delineating exactly what counts as New Age. It is certainly not a religion in the sense that Judaism or Roman Catholicism is a religion. It includes the 'spiritually seeking', those living in ecological intentional living communities, many believers in supernatural ideas; for many, New Age is counter-cultural and political, while for others, it has been turned into a commodity and can be purchased at any number of "mind, body, spirit" festivals, and from a wide variety of expensive lifestyle and health consultants and in bestselling books. Indeed, many ideas once thought to be the preserve of the New Age community have become widely popular in Europe and the United States including organic food and alternative medicine.
Critics of New Age include both conservative Christians (critiques range from mainstream evangelicals through to fringe conspiracy theorists like Texe Marrs) and rationalists, as well as cultural critics who see New Age as little more than a postmodern, consumerist "spiritual supermarket" where the believer can simply piece together spirituality from a diverse source of purchasable options, without having to justify one's choice by reference to theological coherence.