Controversial New Religions

Paperback | July 16, 2014

EditorJames R. Lewis, Jesper Aa. Petersen

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In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons ranging from how they speak, dress, and eat, to the way they think and their sense of community. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting withcommunal living (or strict individualism), alternative leadership roles (or flat network structures), unusual economic dispositions, and new political and ethical values. As a result the general public views new religions with a mixture of curiosity, amusement, and anxiety, sustained by lavish mediaemphasis on oddness and tragedy rather than familiarity and lived experience. This updated and revised second edition of Controversial New Religions offers a scholarly, dispassionate look at those groups that have generated the most attention, including some very well-known classical groups like The Family, Unification Church, Scientology, and Jim Jones' People's Temple; somerelative newcomers such as the Kabbalah Centre, the Order of the Solar Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, and the Falun Gong; and some interesting cases like contemporary Satanism, the Raelians, Black nationalism, and various Pagan groups. Written by established scholars as well as youngerexperts in the field, each essay combines an overview of the history and beliefs of each organization or movement with original and insightful analysis. By presenting decades of scholarly work on new religious movements in an accessible form, this book will be an invaluable resource for all thosewho seek a view of new religions that is deeper than what can be found in sensationalistic media stories.

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In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons ranging from how they speak, dress, and eat, to the way they think and their sense of community. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting withcommunal living (or strict individualism), a...

James R. Lewis is a prominent, highly-published scholar of New Religious Movements. He is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tromso in Tromso, Norway. Lewis currently co-edits three book series and is the general editor for the Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review and the Journal of Religion and Violence. He c...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:July 16, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199315310

ISBN - 13:9780199315314

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Table of Contents

ContributorsIntroductionPart I: Western Religious Traditions1. James Chancellor: A Family for the 21st Century2. Sarah Lewis: The Unification Church3. Rebecca Moore: The Controversies About Peoples Temple and Jonestown4. Gene Gallagher: The Branch Davidians5. Jane Skjoldli: Charismatic Controversies in the Jesus People, Calvary Chapel, and Vineyard Movements6. Jody Myers: Kabbalah Centre: Marketing and Meaning7. Goran Larsson: Controversial Afro-American Muslim OrganizationsPart II: Asian and Asian-Inspired Traditions8. James R. Lewis: The Earth School: The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness9. Malcolm Haddon: Contested Genealogies and Cross-cultural Dynamics in the Hare Krishna Movement10. Inga Tollefsen: Transcendental Meditation, the Art of Living Foundation and Public Relations: From Psychedelic Romanticism to Science and Schism11. Marion S. Goldman: Controversy, Cultural Influence, and the Osho/Rajneesh Movement12. Martin Repp: Aum Shinrikyo and the Aum Incident: A Critical Introduction13. Helen Farley: Falun Gong: A Narrative of Pending Apocalypse, Shape-shifting Aliens and Relentless PersecutionPart III: Western Esoteric and New Age Groups14. Kjersti Hellesoy: Scientology: The Making of a Religion15. Jocelyn DeHass: The Church Universal and Triumphant: Controversy, Change, and Continuance16. Henrik Bogdan: The Order of the Solar Temple17. Siv Ellen Kraft: New Age Spiritualities18. Manon Hedenborg White: Contemporary Paganism19. Anne Kalvig: Popularity of--and Controversy in--Contemporary ShamanismPart IV: Other Groups and Movements20. George D. Chryssides: "Come on up, and I will show thee": Heaven's Gate as a Post-modern Group21. Erik Estling: "Those Who Came from the Sky": Ancient Astronauts and Creationism in the Ra0lian Religion22. Mattias Gardell: Wolf Age Pagans23. Jesper Aagaard Petersen: Carnal, Chthonian, Complicated: The Matter of Modern SatanismIndex