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New Religious Movement in Global Perspective; a Study of Religious Change in the Modern World 1st Edition

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415257473
ISBN-10: 0415257476
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Peter Clarke provides us with an excellent contemporary theoretical account of the field and a comprehensive source of information on a plethora of religious groups... I strongly recommend it.' - Adam Possamai, University of Western Sydney, Australia

'New Religions in Global Perspective is one of the best books on New Religious Movements (NRMs) since the beginning of the 21st century...Peter Clarke provides us with an excellent contemporary theoretical account of the field and a comprehensive source of information on a plethora of religious groups, and for this reason, I strongly recommend it. This book would be excellent as a textbook on NRMs for undergraduate and postgraduate students. For experts in the field, it offers a clear light on the most current debates in the field and covers so much across the globe, that any scholar wukk certainly find room to learn more.' -Adam Possamai, University of Western Sydney

'Creemos que la presente obra, enciclopédica en su formato, con buena bibliografía anglosajona, puede ser de ayuda para destinarios muy diversos; estudiosos de las religiones actuales, políticos, pastores y sociólogos; útil, por su sistemización y contenido, para estudiantes universitarios que buscan conocer el momento actual del espectro religioso-espiritual del mundo.' Bibliographia Missionaria

About the Author

Peter B. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion at King's College, University of London, and a professorial member of Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. Among his publications are (with Peter Byrne) Religion Defined and Explained (1993) and Japanese New Religions In Global Perspective (ed) (2000). He is the founding editor and present co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary Religion.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (February 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415257476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415257473
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,744,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By P. Cunningham on June 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"New Religions in Global Perspectives" by Peter B. Clarke (2006) is a good book, especially if you are interested in how humanity's religious sentiment is expressed in different and similar ways across societies and cultures in the modern (and so-called postmodern) world. Clarke's book is less profound than Needleman & Baker's (1981) classic "Understanding the New Religions." It provides, however, a more balanced view of so-called New Age Movements (NAMs) than presented by Lewis & Melton's (1992) edited "Perspectives on the New Age." Clarke thankfully avoids the polemics and loaded language that characterizes such books as Peters' (1991) "The Cosmic Self" and LeBar's (1989) "Cults, Sects, and the New Age," which not infrequently disparage NAMs as alterative faith systems to Christianity that turn man into God, while disingenuously accepting alternative conventionally-held Christian doctrinal tenets that turn God into man and the notion that the Son of God could be contained in one human frame.
Drawbacks to the text are its cost, its over-attention to detail, and repetitiveness. The sticker price of the book is a bit of a shock. It costs over $100 "used" as of this writing which I consider over-priced, especially for an Amazon.com book. My recommendation is to have an academic library purchase the book (or obtain a copy through interlibrary loan) and then borrow it as a patron to read. The first two chapters that provide defining characteristics of NRMs and NAMs are the best chapters of the book. Subsequent chapters outline NRMs as they appear in Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. These characteristics are presented in such excruciating detail that the global forest becomes lost in the local trees.
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This research pretends to embrace the whole world, but it doesn't go into deep. It's just a survey of cults, and clearly the author just filled the 380+ pages with useless bibliography and repeating the same phrases over and over again, such as "see chapter x". Poor work coming from such an exalted scholar. It seems that he asked his students to research on the topics , and then he just published the results. Very expensive book for the poor and shallow outcome. Obviously they made a good business.
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