The New Heretics of France: Minority Religions, la Republique, and the Government-Sponsored War on…

Hardcover | September 29, 2011

bySusan J. Palmer

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Since the Age of Enlightenment, France has upheld clear constitutional guidelines that protect human rights and religious freedom. Today, however, intolerant attitudes and discriminatory practices towards unconventional faiths have become acceptable and even institutionalized in public life.Susan Palmer offers an insightful examination of France's most stigmatized new religions, or "sectes," and the public management of religious and philosophical minorities by the state. The New Heretics of France tracks the mounting government-sponsored anti-cult movement in the wake of the shocking mass suicides of the Solar Temple in 1994, an event that ushered France's most visible religious minorities onto a blacklist of 172 "sectes" commissioned by the National Assembly.Drawing on extensive interviews and field research, Palmer describes the controversial histories of well-known international New Religious Movements including the Church of Scientology, Raelian Movement, and Unificationism, as well as esoteric local groups. Palmer also reveals the partisanship ofCatholic priests, journalists, village mayors, and the passive public who support La Republique's efforts to control minority faiths - all in the name of "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."Through historical and sociological theory, Palmer analyzes France's war on "sectes" as a strategic response to social pressures arising from globalization and immigration. Her study addresses the impact of these social pressures on traditional cultures and national character, as well as importantissues of religious freedom and public tolerance.

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Since the Age of Enlightenment, France has upheld clear constitutional guidelines that protect human rights and religious freedom. Today, however, intolerant attitudes and discriminatory practices towards unconventional faiths have become acceptable and even institutionalized in public life.Susan Palmer offers an insightful examination...

Susan J. Palmer is a researcher, sociologist, and writer in the area of New Religious Movements (NRMs). She is the author or co-editor of eleven books on NRMs including: Moon Sisters, Rajneesh Lovers, Krishna Mothers: Women's Roles in New Religions; Aliens Adored: Rael's New Religion, and The Nuwaubian Nation: Black Spirituality and S...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 6.5 × 9.29 × 1.1 inPublished:September 29, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199735212

ISBN - 13:9780199735211

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Table of Contents

Preface: Research Experiences in a War Zone.Introduction: Why ''New Heretics''?Part I: The Rise of the Government-Sponsored Antisecte MovemePart II: Groups on the Guyard List1. The Holy City of Mandarom: A Case of Mediabolization2. The Church of Scientology: Legal and Activist Responses3. The Raelian Movement: A Challenge to Sexual Mores and Scientific Orthodoxy4. Tabitha's Place: The Role of Children and the Rights of Parents5. Horus: Alternative Healing or the ''Illegal Practice of Medicine''6. Neo-Phare: First Application of the About-Picard LawNeo-Phare: First Application of the About-Picard LawList of AcronymsBibliographyAppendicesIndex