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date: 14 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

New Religious Movements (NRMs) was an emergent subfield in the 1970s and 1980s—a field that has grown to become a substantial category of study, involving at least three specialty journals, regular academic meetings focused on NRMs, and multiple specialty book series. The Introduction discusses how NRM studies came into being in response to the emergence of alternative religions as a significant phenomenon in the wake of the decline of the sixties counterculture, and in response to the “cult” controversy that had its heyday in the seventies. The Introduction also provides a chapter by chapter overview of the Handbook’s contents.

Keywords: New Religious Movements, cult controversy, NRM studies, sociology of religion, religious studies, counterculture, conversion, typologies

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