1st Edition

Visioning New and Minority Religions Projecting the future

Edited By Eugene Gallagher Copyright 2017
    180 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Rather than being ephemeral fads, new religious movements (NRMs) have always been and will always be with us. So will their study. Offering an assessment of the state-of-the-field of the study of NRMs, Visioning New and Minority Religions begins by considering the analytical tools for the study of new or minority religions, drawing on the perspectives of diverse academic disciplines. The second part focuses on individual groups in a variety of geographical settings. Chapters in this section review the histories of particular groups in order to extrapolate future developments. They cover new religions that have persisted well past the first generation, such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Christian Scientists, and groups with comparatively shorter histories, such as various forms of contemporary Paganism, Soka Gakkai, and the Diamond Way Buddhist group. This volume will be of interest to scholars from across religious studies and sociology, as well as members of new and minority religious groups and those in "cult watching" groups.

    Part 1. Theoretical Perspectives on New and Minority Religions

    1. Introduction: Projecting the Future for New and Minority Religions Eugene V. Gallagher

    2. The Changing Scene: What Might Happen and What Might Be Less Likely to Happen? Eileen Barker

    3. ‘The Silent Majority?’ Understanding Apostate Testimony Beyond ‘Insider / Outsider’ Binaries in the Study of New Religions Stephen E. Gregg & George D. Chryssides

    4. Scholarship on Seekership: Explaining Traffic In and Out of New Religions Steven J. Sutcliffe

    5. Economies of Love and Squalor: Fraud and Deception in Religious Milieus Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist

    6. No Leader, No Followers: The Internet and the End of Charisma? Beth Singler

    7. A Guaranteed Future for New Religious Movements Eugene V. Gallagher

    Part 2. International Perspectives on the Future of Specific New Religious Groups

    8. The Changing Face of Contemporary Paganism in Britain Vivianne Crowley

    9. You Can’t Smash the Internet: A Historical Analysis of the LDS Church’s Negotiation of Technology and How the Internet has Changed the Rules of the Game Jessica Finnigan

    10. From Japanese Buddhist Sect to Global Citizenship: Soka Gakkai Past and Future Anne Mette Fisker-Nielsen

    11. Christian Scientists: Has-Beens or 21st Century Spiritual Pioneers? Robin Harragin and Tony Lobl

    12. Anticipating the Future: The Growth of Practice-Oriented Spiritualities Erin Johnston

    13. Pop Culture – a New Source of Spirituality? Pavol Kosnáč

    14. A Neo-Orthodox Buddhist Movement in Transition: The Diamond Way B Scherer


    Eugene V. Gallagher is the Rosemary Park Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut, USA. He is the author of Reading and Writing Scripture in New Religious Movements: New Bibles and New Revelations (2014) and The New Religious Movements Experience in America (2004), co-author (with James D. Tabor) of Why Waco?: Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America (1995), co-editor of the five-volume Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in the United States (2006), and author of many essays on new religious movements and religions in the ancient Mediterranean world. He is a co-General Editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of New and Alternative Religions and Associate Editor of Teaching Theology and Religion.