The Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements

The Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements

by Olav Hammer, Mikael Rothstein
     
 

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New religions emerge as distinct entities in the religious landscape when innovations are introduced by a charismatic leader or a schismatic group leaves its parent organization. New religious movements (NRMs) often present novel doctrines and advocate unfamiliar modes of behavior, and have therefore often been perceived as controversial. NRMs have, however, in recent

Overview

New religions emerge as distinct entities in the religious landscape when innovations are introduced by a charismatic leader or a schismatic group leaves its parent organization. New religious movements (NRMs) often present novel doctrines and advocate unfamiliar modes of behavior, and have therefore often been perceived as controversial. NRMs have, however, in recent years come to be treated in the same way as established religions, that is, as complex cultural phenomena involving myths, rituals and canonical texts. This Companion discusses key features of NRMs from a systematic, comparative perspective, summarizing results of forty years of research. The volume addresses NRMs that have caught media attention, including movements such as Scientology, New Age, the Neopagans, the Sai Baba movement and Jihadist movements active in a post-9/11 context. An essential resource for students of religious studies, the history of religion, sociology, anthropology and the psychology of religion.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Taken as a whole, the Companion complements more than duplicates existing reference works. IT will be a welcome addition to college and university library collections."
-J. R. Stone, Choice

"…volume editors Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein have solicited brand new essays from an impressive array of international scholars who work on new religious movements (NRMs), all with extensive records of publication and most with advanced academic standing.…this book would make an excellent addition to any library reference collection. Secondarily it has the potential to serve as a textbook in classrooms focused on the study of NRMs; those teaching in this area might consider it for that purpose, but should do so knowing that it will need to be supplemented with additional material." Nova Religio

"… volume editors Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein have solicited brand new essays from an impressive array of international scholars who work on new religious movements (NRMs), all with extensive records of publication and most with advanced academic standing. … this book would make an excellent addition to any library reference collection. Secondarily it has the potential to serve as a textbook in classrooms focused on the study of NRMs; those teaching in this area might consider it for that purpose, but should do so knowing that it will need to be supplemented with additional material."
Nova Religio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521196505
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/31/2012
Series:
Cambridge Companions to Religion Series
Pages:
341
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.79(d)

Meet the Author

Olav Hammer is Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Southern Denmark. He is author of Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age (2001) and co-editor of Polemical Encounters: Esoteric Discourse and its Others (with Kocku von Stuckrad, 2007), The Invention of Sacred Tradition (with James R. Lewis, 2007) and the Brill Handbook of the Theosophical Tradition (with Mikael Rothstein, 2012).

Mikael Rothstein is Associate Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at the Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas. He is author of Belief Transformations (1996), editor of New Age and Globalization (2001) and co-editor (with Tim Jensen) of Secular Theories in the Study of Religion (2000).

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