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New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader

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ISBN-13: 978-0814707036
ISBN-10: 0814707033
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New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader + Communities of Dissent: A History of Alternative Religions in America (Religion in American Life)
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Editorial Reviews


“This book introduces readers to these faiths, utilizing the best of both worlds: the NRMs get to express themselves in the words of their own hallowed texts, while the religious scholars Daschke and Ashcraft place these new and interesting belief systems in their proper historical and theosophical context.”
-New York Spirit

“New religious movements have been in the public eye for decades, and have been the focus of a great deal of debate. Now, at long last, they get to speak for themselves. Dereck Daschke and W. Michael Ashcraft have given us an outstanding resource for understanding new religions, one useful to scholars and students as well as the inquisitive general public. The selections are excellent, and the introductions are models of clarity and accuracy. this volume of primary materials is overdue and very welcome.”
-Timothy Miller,University of Kansas

“Overall, this scholarly, succinct work offers a balanced approach to a contentious topic. Public and academic libraries should purchase two copies, one for reference and one for circulating collections.”
-Library Journal

New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader is an essential text for courses on new religions. It combines well selected source materials with knowledgeable and accessible introductions. The appendix containing an essay by Douglas Cowan on the history of anticult and countercult movements is a very helpful addition.”
-Catherine Wessinger,Co-general Editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions.

About the Author

Dereck Daschke is assistant professor of philosophy and religion at Truman State University.

W. Michael Ashcraft is associate professor of religion at Truman State University and author of The Dawn of the New Cycle: Point Loma Theosophists and American Culture. He is a former chairman of the New Religious Movements Group of the American Academy of Religion.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (June 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814707033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814707036
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Julia Montagnet on March 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I expected this to be a book like many that I've read on newer, fringe religious movements. I expected some sort of undertone of contempt or finger-pointing, calling one or all of them a cult and warning the reader not to be sucked in. Either that, or I expected it to be a whiny, self-pitying lecture on how nobody understands these groups and the members are oppressed by non-believers. Instead this book is an actual look at the different groups from a non-biased standpoint, neither glorifying nor condemning the groups.

Not only is this book easy to read, it is fascinating. It is also well put together, comprehensive and quite educational.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sandburg on February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I chose this reader as part of a course I developed on New Religious Movements in America for Honors Program students. The authors propose a five-fold typlogy for examining NRMs that I found useful in teaching students how to examine and think about the various NRMs we studied. I would definitely recommend this for teaching, and it is a very comprehensive overview for those who simply want to know more about NRMs. Best part - it is a "neutral" approach, unlike many of the books out there that are designed to be anti-"cult," covertly or overtly.
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