Legal Cases, New Religious Movements, and Minority Faiths (Hardback) book cover

Legal Cases, New Religious Movements, and Minority Faiths

Edited by James T. Richardson, François Bellanger

© 2014 – Routledge

294 pages

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pub: 2014-09-28
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About the Book

New religious movements (NRMs) and other minority faiths have regularly been the focus of legal cases around the world in recent decades. This is the first book to focus on important aspects of the relationship of smaller faiths to the societies in which they function by using specific legal cases to examine social control efforts. The legal cases involve group leaders, a groups’ practices or alleged abuses against members and children in the group, legal actions brought by former members or third parties, attacks against such groups by outsiders including even governments, and libel and slander actions brought by religious groups as they seek to defend themselves. These cases are sometimes milestones in the relation between state authorities and religious groups. Exploring cases in different parts of the world, and assessing the events causing such cases and their consequences, this book offers a practical insight for understanding the relations of NRMs and other minority religions and the law from the perspective of legal cases. Chapters focus on legal, political, and social implications. Including contributions from scholars, legal practitioners, actual or former members, and authorities involved in such cases from various jurisdictions, this book presents an objective approach to understanding why so many legal actions have involved NRMs and other minority faiths in recent years in western societies, and the consequences of those actions for the society and the religious group as well.

About the Editors

James Richardson, JD, PhD, is Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada in Reno, where he directs the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies, as well as the Judicial Studies graduate degree program for trial judges. His latest books include Regulating Religion: Case Studies from around the Globe (2004) and Saints under Siege: The Texas Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (with Stuart Wright, 2011). He has published over 250 articles and book chapters, and worked on 10 books, mostly on new and minority faiths. In recent years his focus has been on legal aspects of social control of religions. He is the incoming president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. François Bellanger, PhD, Professor of Law (University of Geneva), Attorney at Law, has been a legal expert on cults for the Department of Justice of the Canton of Geneva (Switzerland) and is one of the authors of the official report on illegal sectarian practices published in Geneva in 1997 (’Audit sur les dérives sectaires’). He has published several articles on cults and religious freedom. He is the President of the Information Center on Beliefs in Geneva.

About the Series

Routledge Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements

Inform is an independent charity that collects and disseminates accurate, balanced and up-to-date information about minority religious and spiritual movements.

The Routledge Inform Series addresses themes related to new religions, many of which have been the topics of Inform seminars. The series editorial board consists of internationally renowned scholars in the field.

Books in the series will attract both an academic and interested general readership, particularly in the areas of Religious Studies, and the Sociology of Religion and Theology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW075000
LAW / Public
REL020000
RELIGION / Cults