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
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.