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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In their efforts to establish legitimacy, many new religious movements link themselves to an authoritative past by producing interpretations of established scriptures or holy books. In the process, they sometimes produce holy books of their own that can be accorded the same status for their adherents as other, better known well-established, scriptural texts. As they do for established religions, in new religions scriptural texts serve as vehicles for the expression of fundamental practices and beliefs and support the efforts to gain the attention, approval, and even allegiance of a particular audience. This essay analyzes multiple examples of how new religious movements both offer innovative commentaries on existing sacred texts and produce their own, new scriptures.

Keywords: New religious movements, scripture, Oahspe, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Hare Krishna, Divine Principle, Children of God/The Family, Book of Mormon, Book of Jeraneck, Shakers, Adi Da Samraj

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