Exploring New Religions

Exploring New Religions

by George D. Chryssides
     
 

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An objective, well-researched history of contemporary new religions and cults.New religious movements - popularly known as cults - arouse strong public opinion and most books on the subject are polemical, giving hostile reaction rather than informed exploration. Exploring New Religions provides an account of a wide variety of new religions, focusing on their

Overview

An objective, well-researched history of contemporary new religions and cults.New religious movements - popularly known as cults - arouse strong public opinion and most books on the subject are polemical, giving hostile reaction rather than informed exploration. Exploring New Religions provides an account of a wide variety of new religions, focusing on their origins, beliefs and practices, which are set out in a dispassionate way, leaving readers to form their own value judgements. George Chryssides provides important analysis of the killer cults-the Jonestown People's Temple, Waco, the Solar Temple and Heaven's Gate-examining the factors that made their followers willing to die for their cause. Older groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are discussed, and Chryssides traces the development of a variety of strands of spirituality, ranging from New Thought, Spiritualism and Theosophy. Subsequent chapters include the Baha'i, the Family (formerly Children of God), the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON), the Jesus Army, the Rastafarians, the Church of Scientology, Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the Unification Church ('the Moonies'). Lower profile groups are also discussed including: EST (Erhard Seminar Training), the New Kadampa Tradition, Brahma Kumaris, Sai Baba, Subud and the Western Buddhist Order. A study of the New Age phenomenon, and an account of societal responses to new religions at religious, societal and political levels is also included.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Chryssides (religious studies, U. of Wolverhampton) provides an objective account of a wide variety of new religions, focusing on their origins, beliefs, and practices. He discusses suicide cults such as the Jonestown Peoples Temple and Heaven's Gate; older groups like Jehovah's Witnesses and the Latter-day Saints (Mormons); strands of spirituality ranging from New Thought to Transcendentalism and Theosophy; well- and lesser-known groups including the Baha'i, the Hare Krishna Movement (ISKCON), the Rastafarians, and the Western Buddhist Order; the New Age phenomenon; and responses to new religions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826459596
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
11/12/2001
Series:
Issues in Contemporary Religion Series
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.84(d)

Meet the Author


George D. Chryssides is Honorary Research Fellow in Contemporary Religion at the University of Birmingham, UK.

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