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Alternative Spiritualities, New Religions, and The Reenchantment of the West  

Christopher Partridge

Print publication date:
Jul 2008
Online publication date:
Sep 2009
This article asks if the West is witnessing a thoroughgoing erosion of belief in the supernatural. Is the loss of faith in otherworldly forces a linear, one-way, inevitable decline, or are ... More

As It Was in the Beginning: Developmental Moments in the Emergence of New Religions  

David G. Bromley

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
The study of new religions in the making (NRMs) is particularly valuable to the study of religion as it offers a window into the process by which religious organizations develop. This ... More

Authority and Dissent in Mormonism  

Armand L. Mauss

Print publication date:
Nov 2015
Online publication date:
Dec 2015
The relation between authority and dissent in the Mormon Church cannot be adequately understood from formal statements in official handbooks or public statements by church leaders. ... More

The Book of Mormon  

Grant Hardy

Print publication date:
Nov 2015
Online publication date:
Dec 2015
This chapter provides an overview of the contents of the Book of Mormon and its reception by both Latter-day Saints and outsiders. Unusually for world scripture, the Book of Mormon ... More

Brainwashing and “Cultic Mind Control”  

James R. Lewis

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
Unable to comprehend the appeal of New Religious Movements, many observers concluded that the leaders of such groups has discovered a special form of social control which enabled them to ... More

Catastrophic Millennialism  

Eugene V. Gallagher

Print publication date:
Oct 2011
Online publication date:
Jan 2012
Catastrophic millennialism emanates from a deep pessimism towards society, history, and general humanity. This article develops an analysis of the basic descriptive vocabulary of ... More

Categorizing Religious Organizations: In Search of a Theoretically Meaningful Strategy  

David G. Bromley

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
The concepts of church and sect, along with the related terms of denomination and cult, have been central to religious group classification and theorizing about religious group ... More

Celestial Marriage (Eternal and Plural)  

Kathryn M. Daynes

Print publication date:
Nov 2015
Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Eternal marriage is embedded in Mormon theology and the temple ordinances Mormons believe are essential for exaltation. Nineteenth-century Mormons believed plural marriage was the highest ... More

Charisma and Authority in New Religious Movements  

Erin Prophet

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
Using examples from new religious movements ranging from the Children of God to Sahaja Yoga, the chapter takes a multi-disciplinary approach, reviewing insights from sociology, psychology, ... More

Children in New Religions  

Sanja Nilsson

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
As an introduction, this article presents an overview of the history of childhood. It goes on to point out a selection of topics significant to the discourse on children growing up in ... More

Children in New Religious Movements  

Charlotte E. Hardman

Print publication date:
Jul 2008
Online publication date:
Sep 2009
This article outlines the main issues and debates surrounding “kids in cults”. It demonstrates how the vast majority of the literature upon which most people's understanding of children in ... More

Christ, Atonement, and Human Possibilities in Mormon Thought  

Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date:
Nov 2015
Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Humans have existed eternally as intelligences in the presence of a Heavenly Father and Mother who created (or adopted) them. Earthly probation and embodiment, entailing sin, are needed to ... More

The Christian Countercult Movement  

Douglas E. Cowan

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
This chapter discusses the Christian countercult movement, which, along with the secular anticult, is one of two major oppositional forces to the emergence of new religious movements in ... More

Communitarianism and Consecration in Mormonism  

J. Spencer Fluhman

Print publication date:
Nov 2015
Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Throughout their tumultuous history, Mormons have sporadically invoked a flexible practice of property donation—or “consecration”—to provide for community needs, to insulate themselves ... More

Conspiracy Theories and New Religious Movements  

Asbjørn Dyrendal

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
This chapter describes and discusses some of the central research into conspiracy theories as related to new religious movements. The first part outlines the area of conspiracy and ... More

Conversion  

George D. Chryssides

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
The chapter explores explanations for conversion to new religious movements (NRMs). Rather than sudden episodic conversion, joining an NRM can be attributed to self-discovery, following a ... More

Conversion and “Brainwashing” in New Religious Movements  

Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins

Print publication date:
Jul 2008
Online publication date:
Sep 2009
A substantial amount of research has transpired regarding patterns of conversion to “alternative religions” or new religious movements (NRMs). A disproportionate amount of this research ... More

Conversion and Retention in Mormonism  

Seth L. Bryant, Henri Gooren, Rick Phillips, and David G. Stewart Jr.

Print publication date:
Apr 2014
Online publication date:
May 2014
This chapter first traces the historical framework of Mormon conversion in the nineteenth-century church forward into the twentieth century. Next the chapter analyzes the reorganization of ... More

Conversion to New Religious Movements  

Douglas E. Cowan

Print publication date:
Apr 2014
Online publication date:
May 2014
This chapter discusses a variety of ways in which affiliation and disaffiliation occur within new religious movements. It explores the brainwashing and deprogramming debates that shaped ... More

Cult Journalism  

Nicoles S. Ruskell and James R. Lewis

Print publication date:
Jun 2016
Online publication date:
Jul 2016
This chapter opens with an examination of the journalism issues surrounding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) assault on the Branch Davidian community outside of Waco, ... More

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