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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

New religions are religions. The fact that they are new is important, but it does not change the fact that they are religions. Similarly, rituals in new religions are rituals with the same functions and basic structures as those found in traditional religious settings. However, during the formative period of any given religion, the religious emphasis will be of a special kind. Members of new religions typically consider themselves an elite, they believe that they live in special times, they await great transformations, sometimes their teachings is clouded in esoteric structures, and they position themselves in a more or less outspoken opposition to the prevailing societal and religious order. These traits are all identifyable in the new religions’ ritual lives. Introducing several examples this chapter illustrates some of the more important aspects of these mechanisms.

Keywords: New religions, rituals, ritual innovations

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