1st Edition

Radical Transformations in Minority Religions

Edited By Beth Singler, Eileen Barker Copyright 2022
    292 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    All religions undergo continuous change, but minority religions tend to be less anchored in their ways than mainstream, traditional religions. This volume examines radical transformations undergone by a variety of minority religions, including the Children of God/ Family International; Gnosticism; Jediism; various manifestations of Paganism; LGBT Muslim groups; the Plymouth Brethren; Santa Muerte; and Satanism.

    As with other books in the Routledge/Inform series, the contributors approach the subject from a wide range of perspectives: professional scholars include legal experts and sociologists specialising in new religious movements, but there are also chapters from those who have experienced a personal involvement. The volume is divided into four thematic parts that focus on different impetuses for radical change: interactions with society, technology and institutions, efforts at legitimation, and new revelations.

    This book will be a useful source of information for social scientists, historians, theologians and other scholars with an interest in social change, minority religions and ‘cults’. It will also be of interest to a wider readership including lawyers, journalists, theologians and members of the general public.

    1. Radical Changes in Minority Religions: Reflections
    2. Beth Singler

      Part One: Internal Forces Leading to Radical Changes

    3. What Did They Do About It? A Sociological Perspective on Reactions to Child Sexual Abuse in Three New Religions
    4. Eileen Barker

    5. Children of Heimdall: Ásatrú Ideas of Ancestry
    6. Karl E. H. Seigfried

    7. Varieties of Enlightenment: Revisions in the EnlightenNext Movement around Andrew Cohen
    8. André Van Der Braak

    9. "Not all Druids wear robes" - Countercultural Experiences of Youth and the Revision
    10. of Ritual in British Druidry

      Jonathan Woolley


      Part Two: Technology and Institutions as Drivers of Change

    11. Santo Daime: Work in Progress
    12. Andrew Dawson

    13. A Song of Wood and Water: The Ecofeminist Turn in 1970s-1980s
    14. British Paganism

      Shai Feraro

    15. When Galaxies Collide: The Question of Jediism’s Revisionism in the Face of
    16. Corporate Buyouts and Mythos ‘Retconning’

      Beth Singler


      Part Three: Change as a Part of a Process of Legitimation

    17. Regulating Religious Diversification: A Legal Perspective
    18. Frank Cranmer And Russell Sandberg

    19. Revision or Re-Branding? The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in
    20. Australia under Bruce D. Hales 2002-2016

      Bernard Doherty And Laura Dyason

    21. Appendix to Revision or Re-Branding? The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church 2002-2016
    22. PBCC

    23. Diversification in Samael Aun Weor’s Gnostic Movement
    24. David G. Robertson

    25. Using the New Religious Movements Framework to Consider LGBT
    26. Muslim Groups

      Shanon Shah


      Part Four: New Prophecies or Revelations

    27. Digital Revisionism: The Aftermath of the Family International’s Reboot
    28. Claire Borowik

    29. The Mexican Santa Muerte from Tepito to Tultitlán: Tradition, Innovation
    30. and Syncretism at Enriqueta Vargas’ Temple

      Stefano Bigliardi, Fabrizio Lorusso, And Stefano Morrone

    31. From the Church of Satan to the Temple of Set: Revisionism in the Satanic
    32. Milieu

      Eugene V. Gallagher

    33. The ‘Messenger’ as Source of Both Stabilization and Revisionism in Church Universal and Triumphant and Related Groups

    Erin Prophet


    Eileen Barker, FBA, OBE, is Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion at the London School of Economics. In 1988, with the support of the Home Office and the mainstream Churches, she founded INFORM, an educational charity, now based at King’s College, London, which supplies information about alternative religions that is as objective and up-to-date as possible. She has over 400 publications, translated into 27 languages.

    Beth Singler is a digital anthropologist whose first book, The Indigo Children: New Age Experimentation with Self and Science, was the first ethnography of this primarily online community. Currently the Junior Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, Beth applies her anthropological approach to the stories we have about AI, digital discussions of its nature and impact, and online communities promoting apocalyptic, transhumanist, and future focussed accounts of AI.