New Religious Movements tend to start their lives with a number of unequivocal statements, not only of a theological nature but also about the world and appropriate behaviours for the believer. Yet these apparently inalienable Truths and their interpretations frequently become revised, ’adjusted’ or selectively adopted by different believers. This book explores different ways in which, as NRMs develop, stagnate, fade away, or abruptly cease to exist, certain orthodoxies and practices have, for one reason or another, been dropped or radically altered. Sometimes such changes are adapted by only a section of the movement, resulting in schism. Of particular concern are processes that might lead to violent and/or anti-social behaviour. As part of the Ashgate/Inform series, and in the spirit of the Inform Seminars, this book approaches its topic from a wide range of perspectives. Contributors include academics, current and former members of NRMs, and members of ’cult-watching’ movements. All the contributions are of a scholarly rather than a polemic nature, and brought together by Eileen Barker, the founder of Inform.
'This is an impressive collection by major scholars of new religions who address major changes that have occurred in some of the most interesting and controversial of the new religious movements. It is packed with up to date information that will be of interest to scholars of many disciplines including sociology, religious studies, and the history of religions.’ James T. Richardson, University of Nevada, USA ’This book is a must-read for scholars of NRMs, historians of religion, social scientists, and policy makers.’ LSE Review of Books 'All the contributions offer unique perspectives into the field of new religious movements and a wealth of theoretical models waiting to be examined and applied to new and changing contexts.' Fieldwork in Religion
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.