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Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader Paperback – June 2, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1405101813 ISBN-10: 1405101814 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (June 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405101814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405101813
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #915,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a superb collection which will effectively introduce some readers to the field of NRM studies, and which is indispensable for any course on alternative religions. The volume really represents some sort of a milestone and its publication may indicate that the scholarly study of NRMs has 'arrived'." Nova Religio

"This is a valuable reader and one which deserves to become part of the landscape." Gerald Vinten, European Business School, London

"The book is very useful for students, scholars of different disciplines, and lay readers to get an idea of the scientific response to publicly debated issues about new religions. Furthermore, with bibliographies at the end of each article, it also provides an excellent starting point for further study." Marburg Journal of Religion

"The editor has collected a number of fine writings by leading authors, theorists and researchers in the field of NRMs. One find understandable and accessible essays by historians, sociologists and psychologists of religion and other scholars well known for their work on the subject and/or famous in their disciplines ... For readers interested in the phenomenon the book is very readable and can open up a new world - a balanced world without prejudice." Journal of Empirical Theology

Review

Review copy sent 31/01/12: The Journal of Academic Researches in Religious Studies

 

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Santi Tafarella on February 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those "breaking the spell" books on religion in which the intricate social psychology--the underbelly of new religious movements--is laid bare and demystified.

The book consists of thought-provoking essays on cults by social scientists, psychologists, and historians. The editor has clearly attempted to give readers a handle, both theoretical and historical, on how new religious movements get started and thrive. Some of the essays in the book are so good that they justify, in and of themselves, the purchase of the book. Roy Wallis' essay, for example, makes some fascinating distinctions between "world denying religious movements" and "world affirming religious movements" that are extremely helpful. The sociologist Rodney Stark's essay is also excellent. It discusses how the proclamations of cults function as "compensators" for general, and unachievable longings (such as eternal life).

Lastly, this book is especially useful for reflecting on how the world's major religions (Christianity and Islam etc.) likely had their beginnings. In other words, the patterns typical of new religious movements are suggestive of how the old religious movements got their start. Short of a time machine, the study of contemporary new religious movements (cults) is as close as we are likely to get to witnessing the early beginnings, and evolution, of mature religions. This book is thus an excellent introduction to the scientific study of religion generally.
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By Casondra on October 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for a class. Good condition.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Crenshaw on January 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank You for the book. I needed it for a textbook for class and it came in perfect condition! Thank you again.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lee Gardner on May 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Very interesting book, it's part of a university study course.
Had worse study books :)
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2 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Tom Anderson on January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
The title is a decent statement about the "TM" type of meditation. It's about as far as this meditation is likely ever to take anyone, but that is a good, if limited, thing.

However, the real purpose of the book is to get you hooked into the Maharishi's very expensive, very elaborate and very questionable "tranquillity" which in the 1990's cost something like $3000 for just the introductory method!

Do yourself a favour. Do some searching. Ask as many teachers as you can what meditation is and what it is for! Be VERY concerned about cost because the best teachers teach for free, or for very little. "TM" as a meditation method is more about making the Maharishi and his organization rich.

I recommend How to Meditate: A Practical Guide By Kathleen McDonald -- you won't get hooked/hoodwinked into a cult and you'll learn how to meditate.
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Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader
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