Controversial New Religions

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James R. Lewis, Jesper Aagaard Petersen
Oxford University Press, 2005 - Religion - 483 pages
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Over the last several years, the scholarly interest in New Religious Movements has grown exponentially. The general public, however, tends to hear about New Religious Movements only when there has been a tragedy, such as the burning of the Branch Davidians' compound in Waco or the Heaven's Gate suicide. The press then lavishes attention on these groups, writing melodramatic stories that play up the oddness of their beliefs and behaviors. This volume offers a scholarly, dispassionate lookat those groups that have generated the most controversy. The groups covered are: The Family Unification Church People's Temple Branch Davidians ISKCON (Hare Krishnas) Osho Rajneesh Soka Gakkai Aum Shunrikyo Falun Gong Aumism Scientology Theosophy Order of the Solar Temple Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness Heaven's Gate Raelians White Racist Religions Satanism Each essay provides not only an overview of the history and beliefs of each organization or movement, but also analysis that makesan original contribution to the field. This book will be an invaluable resource for all those who seek a view of New Religions that is deeper than what can be found in sensationalistic newspaper stories or on the six o'clock news.
  

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Review: Controversial New Religions

User Review  - Stephen Cranney - Goodreads

Always hard to rate an edited volume. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Satanism, L. Ron Hubbard's hagiography, the Children of God movement, and the Aumist nerve gas attacks. For some of these ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
GROUPS IN THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION
17
A Family for the Twentyfirst Century
19
Spirit Revelation and the Unification Church
43
Reconstructing Reality Conspiracy Theories about Jonestown
61
Explaining Militarization at Waco The Construction and Convergence of the Warfare Narrative
79
ASIAN AND ASIANINSPIRED GROUPS
99
Family Development and Change in the Hare Krishna Movement
101
ESOTERIC AND NEW AGE GROUPS
225
Inventing L Ron Hubbard On the Construction and Maintenance of the Hagiographic Mythology of Scientologys Founder
227
The Theosophical Society
259
The Solar Temple Transits Beyond the Millennialist Hypothesis
295
From Atlantis to America JZ Knight Encounters Ramtha
319
Heart and Soul A Qualitative Look at the Ethos of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness
331
OTHER GROUPS AND MOVEMENTS
351
Come On Up and I Will Show Thee Heavens Gate as a Postmodern Group
353

When Leaders Dissolve Considering Controversy and Stagnation in the Osho Rajneesh Movement
119
Soka Gakkai Searching for the Mainstream
139
Aum Shinrikyo and the Aum Incident A Critical Introduction
153
The Falun Gong A New Religious Movement in PostMao China
195
Notes on the Aumist Religion
215
The Raelian Movement Concocting Controversy Seeking Social Legitimacy
371
White Racist Religions in the United States From Christian Identity to Wolf Age Pagans
387
Modern Satanism Dark Doctrines and Black Flames
423
Index
459
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

James Lewis is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is the author or editor of many books, including The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements (OUP, 2003), Legitimating New Religions (2003), and Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy (2001). Jesper Aagaard Petersen is a Teaching Assistant in the Department of History of Religions at the University of Copenhagen. He edited a special issue of SYZYGY: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture on modern Satanism.

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