New Religions and Spiritualities: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

New Religions and Spiritualities

1st Edition

Edited by Stephen Hunt


436 pages

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Hardback: 9780754629238
pub: 2010-11-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315247991
pub: 2017-03-02
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Since the 1960s a fresh wave of new religions and what has come to be termed 'spiritualities' have been evident on a global scale. This volume in The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Religion focuses on these 'new' religions and their often contentious attitudes towards human sexuality. Part 1, through previously-published articles, provides instances of affirming orientations of the 'new' religions towards sexuality. This entails scrutinising examples of innovative religion from a historical perspective, as well as those of a more contemporary nature. Part 2 examines, with pertinent illustrations, the controversial character of 'new' religions in their 'cultist' forms and matters of sexual control and abuse. Part 3 considers sexuality as articulated through paganism, the occult and esotericism in the postmodern setting. Part 4 examines both hetero- and non-hetero- expressions of sexuality through the so-called 'New Spiritualities', Quasi-religions and the more 'hidden' forms of religiosity.


'focuses on those religions that have come to prominence since World War II…This book melds old and new…' Religion and Human Rights Journal ’…a fascinating insight into both the origins of early religious traditions and sexuality, and into the modern world of religion and sex. Hunt has accomplished a feat at collecting a rich and varied selection of essays and articles that create a thorough, well-developed three-dimensional context within which sex, religion and society intersect. These works are valuable tools to consider these intersections, the lives of both modern and historical humankind.’ Sexuality & Culture

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I Sexual Affirmation: Sex in the city of God: free love and the American Millennium, Cathy Gutierrez; Calamus in Bolton: spirituality and homosexual desire in late Victorian England, Harry Cocks; Women's 'cocoon work' in new religious movements: sexual experimentation and feminine rites of passage, Susan J. Palmer; Sex, gender, and New Age stereotyping, Lata Ta'eed; 'We are God's children, y'all': race, gender, and sexuality in lesbian- and gay-affirming congregations, Krista McQueeney. Part II Sexual Restraint and Abuse: Sexuality, gender and the abuse of power in the master-disciple relationship: the case of the Rajneesh movement, Elizabeth Puttick; Reconceptualising the human body: Heaven's Gate and the quest for divine transformation, Susan Raine; Sex roles in the Jesus Movement, Mary W. Harder; Sexuality, marriage and piety among charismatics in Nigeria, Matthews A. Ojo; Social change, gender roles, and new religious movements, Angela A. Aidala. Part III Neo-Paganism, The Occult and Esotericism: Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) experiences with Earth-spirited faith, Brandy Smith; Sexology and the occult: sexuality and subjectivity on theosophy's new age, Joy Dixon; Magia sexualis: sex, secrecy, and liberation in modern Western esotericism, Hugh B. Urban; A woman in the grip of the archetype of the sexual priestess, Kim Marie Vaz; Inappropriate sexuality? Sex magic, S/M and Wicca (or 'whipping Harry Potter's arse!…), Jo Pearson. Part IV New Spiritualities and Quasi-Religiosity: Queer spirituality, Claudio Bardella; Godly sex, a queer quest of holiness, Jane M. Grovijahn; Coming out stories framed as faith narratives, or stories of spiritual growth, David J. Roseborough; Ritual, liminality and transformation: secular spirituality in Sydney's gay bathhouses, Jason Prior and Carole M. Cusack; Not pretty girls? Sexuality, spirituality, and gender construction in women's rock music, Kate McCarthy; Name index.

About the Editor

Stephen Hunt is Reader in Sociology at the University of the West of England, UK

About the Series

The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Religion

The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Religion
Interest in the intersection between sexuality and religion has now been mainstreamed into the agenda of theoretical and empirical research and this collection of ground-breaking essays is a landmark testament to the interest and achievements of academics in this area to date. The five volumes cover both established major and minor religions, as well as new expressions of religiosity and spirituality, and demonstrate that the relationship between the two phenomena of sexuality and religion is varied and multi-faceted, with enabling and constraining potentials, mediated through a variety of power structures. The essays show that religions tend to be inherently sex-negative, that sexuality is similarly inclined to flourish in the context of secular and assumed liberal and democratic spaces and that the relationship between religion and sexuality therefore can not be essentialised. This series forms an indispensable collection of breadth and depth for scholars from a wide range of interdisciplinary fields including sociology, theology, anthropology, religious studies, cultural studies and history, and offers an authoritative and convenient reference source for academic libraries.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General