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The Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements
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Book description

New religions emerge as distinct entities in the religious landscape when innovations are introduced by a charismatic leader or a schismatic group leaves its parent organization. New religious movements (NRMs) often present novel doctrines and advocate unfamiliar modes of behavior, and have therefore often been perceived as controversial. NRMs have, however, in recent years come to be treated in the same way as established religions, that is, as complex cultural phenomena involving myths, rituals and canonical texts. This Companion discusses key features of NRMs from a systematic, comparative perspective, summarizing results of forty years of research. The volume addresses NRMs that have caught media attention, including movements such as Scientology, New Age, the Neopagans, the Sai Baba movement and Jihadist movements active in a post-9/11 context. An essential resource for students of religious studies, the history of religion, sociology, anthropology and the psychology of religion.

Reviews

'There's some excellent material in this book especially on individual movements.'

Source: Fortean Times

'… volume editors Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein have solicited brand new essays from an impressive array of international scholars who work on new religious movements (NRMs), all with extensive records of publication and most with advanced academic standing. … this book would make an excellent addition to any library reference collection. Secondarily it has the potential to serve as a textbook in classrooms focused on the study of NRMs; those teaching in this area might consider it for that purpose, but should do so knowing that it will need to be supplemented with additional material.'

Source: Nova Religio

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