Cults and New Religions: A Brief History

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Wiley, Sep 24, 2007 - Religion - 272 pages
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An overview of the development of new religions and thecontroversies surrounding them in late modern society.

  • A stimulating, course-friendly overview of the history anddevelopment of new religious movements (NRMs) in the late twentiethcentury
  • Explores eight cults and NRMs, including the Church ofScientology, Transcendental Meditation, Unificationism, The FamilyInternational, the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, the BranchDavidians, Heavenís Gate, and Wicca
  • Each chapter reviews the origins, leaders, beliefs, rituals andpractices of a NRM, highlighting the specific controversiessurrounding this group
  • Covers debates including what constitutes an authenticreligion, the validity of claims of brainwashing techniques, theimplications of experimentation with unconventional sexualpractices, and the deeply rooted cultural fears that cultsengender.

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User Review  - Jesss - Goodreads

Gerald Gardner marries JZ Knight, and the pastor would be Sun Myung Moon. Location and witnesses The Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard and David Burg... yeah right... Read full review


A Primer
The Question of Religion
The Questions of Science

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About the author (2007)

Douglas E. Cowan is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Social Development Studies at Renison University College, the University of Waterloo. He is the author of Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet (2005), The Remnant Spirit: Conservative Reform in Mainline Protestantism (2003), and Bearing False Witness? An Introduction to the Christian Countercult (2003). He has also edited Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet (with Lorne L. Dawson, 2004) and Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises (with Jeffrey K. Hadden, 2000). He is one of the co-general editors of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions.

David G. Bromley is Professor of Religious Studies in the School of World Studies and an Affiliate Professor in the Sociology Program in the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. His most recent books are Defining Religion: Critical Approaches to Drawing Boundaries Between Sacred and Secular (2003), Cults, Religion and Violence (2001), Toward Reflexive Ethnography: Participating, Observing, Narrating (2001), and The Politics of Religious Apostasy (1998).

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