Title first published in 2003. Alternative religions attract great public, academic and government interest in our apparently post-Christian society. Yet how did all the 'alternatives' develop, what are their beliefs and practices and how significant is their impact in terms of the world's religions and society? This book presents a comprehensive introduction to the major forms of alternative religions: Cults, Sects, New Religious Movements, the New Age, Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, Ethnic Religions and Quasi-religions. Stephen Hunt presents sociological insights into the rise of alternative religions, their beliefs and practices, their impact, who joins them, and how they are being classified and could be re-classified in the future. Public and legal controversies surrounding some alternative religions, such as the so-called 'dangerous cults', are also explored. This book offers students insights into contemporary themes such as secularisation, post-modernity, links between religion, healing and and changes in our global culture.