Controversial New Religions (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199315314

James R. Lewis;Jesper Aagaard Petersen
496 ページ
158 x 234 mm

In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting with communal living, alternative leadership roles, 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 media emphasis 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's People's Temple; some relative 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. 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 written in an accessible form by established scholars as well as younger experts in 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 media stories.


Part I: Western Religious Traditions
1. A Family for the 21st Century
James Chancellor
2. The Unification Church
Sarah Lewis
3. The Controversies About Peoples Temple and Jonestown
Rebecca Moore
4. The Branch Davidians
Gene Gallagher
5. Charismatic Controversies in the Jesus People, Calvary Chapel, and Vineyard Movements
Jane Skjoldli
6. Kabbalah Centre: Marketing and Meaning
Jody Myers
7. Controversial Afro-American Muslim Organizations
Goran Larsson
Part II: Asian and Asian-Inspired Traditions
8. The Earth School: The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness
James R. Lewis
9. Contested Genealogies and Cross-cultural Dynamics in the Hare Krishna Movement
Malcolm Haddon
10. Transcendental Meditation, the Art of Living Foundation and Public Relations:
From Psychedelic Romanticism to Science and Schism
Inga Tollefsen
11. Controversy, Cultural Influence, and the Osho/Rajneesh Movement
Marion S. Goldman
12. Aum Shinrikyo and the Aum Incident: A Critical Introduction
Martin Repp
13. Falun Gong: A Narrative of Pending Apocalypse, Shape-shifting Aliens and Relentless Persecution
Helen Farley
Part III: Western Esoteric and New Age Groups
14. Scientology: The Making of a Religion
Kjersti Hellesoy
15. The Church Universal and Triumphant: Controversy, Change, and Continuance
Jocelyn DeHass
16. The Order of the Solar Temple
Henrik Bogdan
17. New Age Spiritualities
Siv Ellen Kraft
18. Contemporary Paganism
Manon Hedenborg White
19. Popularity of-and Controversy in-Contemporary Shamanism
Anne Kalvig
Part IV: Other Groups and Movements
20. "Come on up, and I will show thee": Heaven's Gate as a Post-modern Group
George D. Chryssides
21. "Those Who Came from the Sky": Ancient Astronauts and Creationism in the Raelian Religion
Erik Ostling
22. Wolf Age Pagans
Mattias Gardell
23. Carnal, Chthonian, Complicated: The Matter of Modern Satanism
Jesper Aagaard Petersen


James R. Lewis is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tromso. He co-edits three books series and is the general editor for the Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review and the Journal of Religion and Violence Jesper Aa. Petersen is Associate Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, specializing in Religious Education and Religious Studies. He is the editor of several anthologies, most recently The Devil's Party: Satanism in Modernity(OUP, 2013) with Per Faxneld.