Author: Lorne L. Dawson
Publisher: Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2006-01
Tackling popular misconceptions about new religious movements, Comprehending Cults summarizes, synthesizes, and assesses over 40 years of research by historians, sociologists, and psychologists. This excellent introduction to the study of new religious groups offers a balanced treatment of new movements as a source of spiritual satisfaction while confronting issues of violence, sexuality, and brainwashing within religious cults.
What is a cult? Why do they emerge? Who joins them? And why do tragedies such as Waco and Jonestown occur? This reader brings together the voices of historians, sociologists, and psychologists of religion to address these key questions about new religious movements. Looks at theoretical explanations for cults, why people join and what happens when they do. Brings together the best work on cults by sociologists, historians, and psychologists of religion. A broad-ranging, balanced and clearly organized collection of readings. Includes coverage of topical issues, such as the 'brainwashing' controversy, and cults in cyberspace. Section introductions by the editor situate the nature, value, and relevance of the selected readings in context of current discussions.
Author: Michael Ashcraft
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2005-06-17
New Religious Movements is a highly unique volume, bringing together primary documents conveying the words and ideas of a wide array of new religious movements (NRMs), and offering a first-hand look into their belief systems. Arranged by the editors according to a new typology, the text allows readers to consider NRMS along five interrelated pathways—from those that offer new perceptions of existence or new personal identities, to those that center on relationships within family-like units, to those movements that highlight the need for recasting the social order or anticipate the dawn of a new age. The volume includes original documents from groups such as the Unification Church, Theosophy, Branch Davidians, Wicca, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Santeria, and Seventh Day Adventists, as well as many others. Each section is prefaced by a contextual introduction and concludes with a list of sources for further reading. New Religious Movements offers a rare inside look into the worldviews of alternative religious traditions.
Author: John A. Saliba
Publisher: AltaMira Press
Release Date: 2004-09-08
Discussions of any religion can easily raise passions. But arguments tend to become even more heated when the religion under discussion is characterized as new. Divisions around the study of new religious movements (NRMs), or cults, or nontraditional or alternative or emergent religions are so acute that there is even controversy over what to call them. John Saliba strives to bring balance to these discussions by offering perspectives on new religions from different academic perspectives: history, psychology, sociology, law, theology, and counseling. This approach provides rich descriptions of a broad range of movements while demonstrating how the differing aims of the disciplines can create much of the controversy around NRMs. The new second edition has been updated and revised throughout and includes a new foreword by noted historian of religion, J. Gordon Melton. For classes in religion or the social sciences, or for interested individuals, Understanding New Religious Movements offers the most objective introduction possible.
Religion Online provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to this burgeoning new religious reality, from cyberpilgrimages to neo-pagan chatroom communities. A substantial introduction by the editors presenting the main themes and issues is followed by sixteen chapters addressing core issues of concern such as youth, religion and the internet, new religious movements and recruitment, propaganda and the countercult, and religious tradition and innovation.
Author: Inga B. Tollefsen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-04-25
The study of New Religious Movements (NRMs) is one of the fastest-growing areas of religious studies, and since the release of the first edition of The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements in 2003, the field has continued to expand and break new ground. In this all-new volume, James R. Lewis and Inga B. Tøllefsen bring together established and rising scholars to address an expanded range of topics, covering traditional religious studies topics such as "scripture," "charisma," and "ritual," while also applying new theoretical approaches to NRM topics. Other chapters cover understudied topics in the field, such as the developmental patterns of NRMs and subcultural considerations in the study of NRMs. The first part of this book examines NRMs from a social-scientific perspective, particularly that of sociology. In the second section, the primary factors that have put the study of NRMs on the map, controversy and conflict, are considered. The third section investigates common themes within the field of NRMs, while the fourth examines the approaches that religious studies researchers have taken to NRMs. As NRM Studies has grown, subfields such as Esotericism, New Age Studies, and neo-Pagan Studies have grown as distinct and individual areas of study, and the final section of the book investigates these emergent fields.
Author: Thomas Robbins
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2001-01-01
Misunderstanding Cults provides a uniquely balanced contribution to what has become a highly polarized area of study. Working towards a moderate "third path" in the heated debate over new religious movements or cults, this collection includes contributions from both scholars who have been characterized as "anticult" and those characterized as "cult-apologists." The study incorporates multiple viewpoints as well as a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, with the stated goal of depolarizing the discussion over alternative religious movements. A prominent section within the book focuses explicitly on the issue of scholarly objectivity and the danger of partisanship in the study of cults. The collection also includes contributions on the controversial and much misunderstood topic of brainwashing, as well as discussions of cult violence, children brought up in unconventional religious movements, and the conflicts between alternative religious movements and their critics. Unique in its breadth, this is the first study of new religious movements to address the main points of controversy within the field while attempting to find a middle ground between opposing camps of scholarship.
Author: Olav Hammer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2012-08-30
New religions emerge as distinct entities in the religious landscape when innovations are introduced by a charismatic leader or a schismatic group leaves its parent organization. New religious movements (NRMs) often present novel doctrines and advocate unfamiliar modes of behavior, and have therefore often been perceived as controversial. NRMs have, however, in recent years come to be treated in the same way as established religions, that is, as complex cultural phenomena involving myths, rituals and canonical texts. This Companion discusses key features of NRMs from a systematic, comparative perspective, summarizing results of forty years of research. The volume addresses NRMs that have caught media attention, including movements such as Scientology, New Age, the Neopagans, the Sai Baba movement and Jihadist movements active in a post-9/11 context. An essential resource for students of religious studies, the history of religion, sociology, anthropology and the psychology of religion.
Author: Hugh B. Urban
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-09-15
"New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements is a comprehensive and user-friendly book devoted to the study of alternative spiritual currents in modern America. The book covers a wide range of new religions from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, including the Native American Church, Mormonism, Spiritualism, Scientology, the Nation of Islam, Rastafari, ISKCON, Wicca, the Church of Satan, Peoples Temple, Branch Davidians, and the Raeelians. Each chapter focuses on one key issue or debate that raises larger issues in the study of religion and American culture more broadly, such as the legality of peyote in the Native American Church, the role of women and feminism in Wicca, the role of hip hop and reggae music in the spread of the Nation of Islam and Rastafari, and the debate over human cloning in the Raeelian movement. The book also addresses key theoretical and methodological problems in the study of new religions: Why has there been such a tremendous proliferation of new spiritual forms in the past 150 years, even amid our increasingly rational, scientific, technological, and 'secular' society? Why has the United States become the heartland for the explosion of new religious movements? How do we deal with complex legal debates such as the use of peyote by the Native American Church, the use of marijuana by Rastafarians, or the practice of plural marriage by some Mormon communities? And how do we navigate issues of religious freedom and privacy in a new age of religious violence, terrorism, and government surveillance?"--Provided by publisher.
This book gives readers a comprehensive map of 200 of the most significant new religions and alternative spiritualities to have emerged in the last 100 years. It is written by specialists but with the non-specialist in mind. The groups are categorised according to their religion of origin - those with roots in Judaism (e.g. Havurot Movement, Messianic Judaism), Christianity (e.g. Christian Science, Rastafarianism), Islam (e.g. Bah'ai), Hinduism (e.g. Sahaja Yoga), Buddism (e.g. Santi Asoke), Sikhism, Japanese religion (e.g. Omoto, Reiki), Chinese religion and philosophy (e.g. Feng Shui), Zoroastrianism, primal or pagan religion (e.g. Shamanism) and western culture (e.g. Scientology, Psychedelic spirituality).
In early 1990, in response to apocalyptic prophecies given by her mother, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Erin Prophet entered a network of underground bunkers in Montana along with members of her mother's Church Universal and Triumphant, a controversial New Age sect. Emerging to find the world still intact, Erin was forced into a radical reassessment of her life and her beliefs. She had spent her adolescence watching her mother vilified as a dangerous cult leader even while attempting to meet her expectations by becoming a "prophet" herself. Prophet's Daughter describes Erin's search for her mother's origins and motivations. With the craft of a storyteller, she describes the combination of health crises and external pressure that drove her mother's ever-more dire prophecies. She reveals how the allure of infallibility led her mother to a conspicuous downfall, and how her mother's rapidly progressing Alzheimer's disease truncated any hope of resolution. A remarkable memoir with implications for the dialog about power, group behavior and the future of religion.
Suffering that is not coupled with any redeeming good is one of our world’s more troubling, apparent glitches. It is particularly vexing for any theist who believes that the world was created by a supremely morally good, knowledgeable, and powerful god. Gratuitous Suffering and the Problem of Evil: A Comprehensive Introduction is among the first book-length discussions of theistic approaches to this issue. Bryan Frances’s lucid and jargon-free analyses of a variety of possible responses to the problem of gratuitous suffering will provide serious students or general readers much material with which to begin an extended contemplation of this ancient and contemporary concern. The perfect size and scope for an introductory philosophy class’s discussion of the problem of evil and suffering, and deliberately crafted to be approachable by all interested readers, Gratuitous Suffering and the Problem of Evil is philosophy doing what it does best: serious, engaged, rigorous explorations of even the darkest truths. The book offers many useful pedagogical features, including chapter overviews and summaries, annotated suggested readings, and eight-eight discussion questions.