CESNUR: The Center for Studies on New Religions
Via Juvarra 20, 10152 Torino (Turin), Italy, tel: 39+11+541 950; firstname.lastname@example.org
CESNUR is the oldest scholarly organization devoted exclusively to the study of new religions. The group is international in scope, and holds its annual meeting in various parts of the world. Because it is centered in Italy, it tends to focus on the cult issue in Europe. CESNUR was established in 1988 by a group of religious scholars from leading universities in Europe and the Americas. Its managing director is Massimo Introvigne. CESNUR's original aim was to offer a professional association to scholars specializing in new religious movements.
In the 1990s, CESNUR became more pro-active and started supplying information on a regular basis, opening public centers and organizing conferences and seminars for the general public in a variety of countries. Today, CESNUR is a network of independent but related organizations of scholars in various countries, devoted to promote scholarly research in the field of new religious consciousness, to spread reliable and responsible information, and to expose the very real problems associated with some movements, while at the same time defending everywhere the principles of religious liberty.
CESNUR's yearly annual conference is the largest world gathering of those active in the field of studies on new religions. Each conference normally features 50 to 80 papers. Conferences have been held at the London School of Economics (1993), the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil (1994), the State University of Rome (1995), the University of Montreal (1996), the Free University of Amsterdam (1997), the Industrial Union in Turin (1998), the Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania (1999), the University of Latvia in Riga (2000), the University of Utah and Brigham Young University (2002), the University of Vilnius (2003), and Baylor University (2004).