Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader (Blackwell by Lorne L. Dawson

By Lorne L. Dawson

What's a cult? Why do they emerge? Who joins them? And why do tragedies akin to Waco and Jonestown happen? This reader brings jointly the voices of historians, sociologists, and psychologists of faith to handle those key questions about new spiritual pursuits.

  • Looks at theoretical causes for cults, why humans sign up for and what occurs once they do.
  • Brings jointly the easiest paintings on cults via sociologists, historians, and psychologists of religion.
  • A broad-ranging, balanced and obviously prepared selection of readings.
  • Includes assurance of topical matters, comparable to the 'brainwashing' controversy, and cults in cyberspace.
  • Section introductions by means of the editor situate the character, worth, and relevance of the chosen readings in context of present discussions.

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Extra resources for Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader (Blackwell Readings in Religion)

Sample text

Brown, Peter (1995) Authority and the Sacred, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Habermas, Jürgen (1987) The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 2, Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Richardson, James T. (1985) “The “deformation” of new religions: impacts of societal and organizational factors,” Pp. 163–75 in T. Robbins, W. Shepherd, and J. McBride (eds), Cults, Culture and the Law, Chico, CA: Scholars Press. Richardson, James T. (1991) “Cult/brainwashing cases and freedom of religion,” Journal of Church and State, 33: 55–74.

Political differences thus mirror cosmic positions in this struggle, with communism typically seen as the Satanic representative on earth. It also follows from this that, with the final struggle so close, the faithful cannot hope to change the world sufficiently one soul at a time. Thus, although they seek to convert among the world’s masses, they also address themselves to the influential, who are in a position to affect a much wider range of people and events and thus to meet the pressing cosmic timetable more effectively.

1969. Siciological evidence and political theory. In Philosophy, politics and society, 2nd series, edited by Peter Laslett and W. G. Runciman, 34–47. Oxford: Blackwell. Shupe, Anson D. and David G. Bromley. 1980. The new vigilantes. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Solomon, Trudy. 1981. Integrating the ‘Moonie’ experience. In In Gods we trust, edited by Thomas Robbins and Dick Anthony, 275–94. New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction. Weber, Max. 1947. The theory of social and economic organization. New York: Free Press.

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