Teaching New Religious Movements

Author: David G. Bromley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198039419
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Since its inception around 1970, the study of New Religious Movements (NRMs) has evolved into an established multidisciplinary field. At the same time, both the movements and the scholars who study them have been the subjects of intense controversy. In this volume, a group of senior NRM scholars who have been instrumental in the development of the field will offer pivotal essays that present the basics of NRM scholarship along with guidance for teachers on classroom use. The book is organized topically around subjects that are both central to the study of NRMs and likely to be useful to non-specialists. Part I contains examinations of the definitional boundaries of the area of study, varying disciplinary perspectives on NRMs, unique methodological/ethical problems encountered in the study of NRMs, and the controversies that have confronted scholars studying NRMs and the movements themselves. Part II examines a series of topics central to teaching about NRMs: the larger sociocultural significance of the movements, their distinctive symbolic and organizational features, the interrelated processes of joining and leaving NRMs, the organization of gender roles in NRMs, media and popular culture portrayals of the movements, the occurrence of corruption and abuse within movements, and violence by and against NRMs. Part III provides informational resources for teaching about NRMs, which are particularly important in a field where knowing the biases of sources is crucial. With its interdisciplinary approach, the volume provides comprehensive, accessible information and perspectives on NRMs. It is an invaluable guide for instructors navigating this scholarly minefield.

Teaching Mysticism

Author: William B. Parsons
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199751196
Format: PDF, Docs
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The term ''mysticism'' has never been consistently defined or employed, either in religious traditions or in academic discourse. The essays in this volume offer ways of defining what mysticism is, as well as methods for grappling with its complexity in a classroom.This volume addresses the diverse literature surrounding mysticism in four interrelated parts. The first part includes essays on the tradition and context of mysticism, devoted to drawing out and examining the mystical element in many religious traditions. The second part engages traditions and religio-cultural strands in which ''mysticism'' is linked to other terms, such as shamanism, esotericism, and Gnosticism. The volume's third part focuses on methodological strategies for defining ''mysticism,'' with respect to varying social spaces. The final essays show how contemporary social issues and movements have impacted the meaning, study, and pedagogy of mysticism.Teaching Mysticism presents pedagogical reflections on how best to communicate mysticism from a variety of institutional spaces. It surveys the broad range of meanings of mysticism, its utilization in the traditions, the theories and methods that have been used to understand it, and provides critical insight into the resulting controversies.

A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements

Author: W. Michael Ashcraft
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351670832
Format: PDF, ePub
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The American public’s perception of New Religious Movements (NRMs) as fundamentally harmful cults stems from the "anticult" movement of the 1970s, which gave a sometimes hysterical and often distorted image of NRMs to the media. At the same time, academics pioneered a new field, studying these same NRMs from sociological and historical perspectives. They offered an interpretation that ran counter to that of the anticult movement. For these scholars in the new field of NRM studies, NRMs were legitimate religions deserving of those freedoms granted to established religions. Those scholars in NRM studies continued to evolve methods and theories to study NRMs. This book tells their story. Each chapter begins with a biography of a key person involved in studying NRMs. The narrative unfolds chronologically, beginning with late nineteenth- and early-twentieth century perceptions of religions alternative to the mainstream. Then the focus shifts to those early efforts, in the 1960s and 1970s, to comprehend the growing phenomena of cults or NRMs using the tools of academic disciplines. The book’s midpoint is a chapter that looks closely at the scholarship of the anticult movement, and from there moves forward in time to the present, highlighting themes in the study of NRMs like violence, gender, and reflexive ethnography. No other book has used the scholars of NRMs as the focus for a study in this way. The material in this volume is, therefore, a fascinating viewpoint from which to explore the origins of this vibrant academic community, as well as analyse the practice of Religious Studies more generally.

The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements

Author: George D. Chryssides
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441174494
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements covers key themes such as charismatic leadership, conversion and brainwashing, prophecy and millennialism, violence and suicide, gender and sexuality, legal issues, and the portrayal of New Religious Movements by the media and anti-cult organisations. Several categories of new religions receive special attention, including African new religions, Japanese new religions, Mormons, and UFO religions. This guide to New Religious Movements and their critical study brings together 29 world-class international scholars, and serves as a resource to students and researchers. The volume highlights the current state of academic study in the field, and explores areas in which future research might develop. Clearly and accessibly organised to help users quickly locate key information and analysis, the book includes an A to Z of key terms, extensive guides to further resources, a comprehensive bibliography, and a timeline of major developments in the field such as the emergence of new groups, publications, legal decisions, and historical events.

The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements

Author: James R. Lewis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190611529
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The study of New Religious Movements (NRMs) is one of the fastest-growing areas of religious studies, and since the release of the first edition of The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements in 2003, the field has continued to expand and break new ground. In this all-new volume, James R. Lewis and Inga B. T?llefsen bring together established and rising scholars to address an expanded range of topics, covering traditional religious studies topics such as "scripture," "charisma," and "ritual," while also applying new theoretical approaches to NRM topics. Other chapters cover understudied topics in the field, such as the developmental patterns of NRMs and subcultural considerations in the study of NRMs. The first part of this book examines NRMs from a social-scientific perspective, particularly that of sociology. In the second section, the primary factors that have put the study of NRMs on the map, controversy and conflict, are considered. The third section investigates common themes within the field of NRMs, while the fourth examines the approaches that religious studies researchers have taken to NRMs. As NRM Studies has grown, subfields such as Esotericism, New Age Studies, and neo-Pagan Studies have grown as distinct and individual areas of study, and the final section of the book investigates these emergent fields.

Teaching the I Ching Book of Changes

Author: Geoffrey P. Redmond
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199766819
Format: PDF, Docs
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Teaching the I Ching (Book of Changes) is a comprehensive and authoritative source for understanding the 3,000-year-old Book of Changes, arguably the most influential Chinese classical text. Beginning in the 1960s, as a result of the renewed interest in Asian philosophy and the availability of a readable English translation, the I Ching (Pinyin Yijing) became a countercultural classic and attracted scholarly interest as well. In China, the Yijing was alternately condemned and praised during the Mao era - though the Great Helmsman was rumored to consult the Changes himself. It is now widely read in China, and scholarship on the Changes has blossomed both in China and the West, stimulated by advances in reconstructing the ancient Chinese language and by the recent discovery of previously lost versions of the text. Chinese traditional culture cannot be understood without some familiarity with the Yijing, but it is one of the most difficult of the world's ancient classics. Thetext is fragmentary with many obscure allusions and conflicting interpretive traditions spanning more than two thousand years. The associated diagrams have complex interpretative schemes. Geoffrey Redmond and Tze-Ki Hon provide the necessary background for teachers at the university level to cover the Yijing even if they are not specialists. This book also serves as an introduction for students beginning the study of the Changes and presents an up-to-date survey of recent scholarship.

Overcoming Religious Illiteracy

Author: D. Moore
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230607004
Format: PDF
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In Overcoming Religious Illiteracy, Harvard professor and Phillips Academy teacher Diane L. Moore argues that though the United States is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, the vast majority of citizens are woefully ignorant about religion itself and the basic tenets of the world's major religious traditions. The consequences of this religious illiteracy are profound and include fueling the culture wars, curtailing historical understanding and promoting religious and racial bigotry. In this volume, Moore combines theory with practice to articulate how to incorporate the study of religion into the schools in ways that will invigorate classrooms and enhance democratic discourse in the public sphere.

Religion Food and Eating in North America

Author: Benjamin E. Zeller
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153731X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The way in which religious people eat reflects not only their understanding of food and religious practice but also their conception of society and their place within it. This anthology considers theological foodways, identity foodways, negotiated foodways, and activist foodways in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Original essays explore the role of food and eating in defining theologies and belief structures, creating personal and collective identities, establishing and challenging boundaries and borders, and helping to negotiate issues of community, religion, race, and nationality. Contributors consider food practices and beliefs among Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists, as well as members of new religious movements, Afro-Carribean religions, interfaith families, and individuals who consider food itself a religion. They traverse a range of geographic regions, from the Southern Appalachian Mountains to North America’s urban centers, and span historical periods from the colonial era to the present. These essays contain a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives, emphasizing the embeddedness of food and eating practices within specific religions and the embeddedness of religion within society and culture. The volume makes an excellent resource for scholars hoping to add greater depth to their research and for instructors seeking a thematically rich, vivid, and relevant tool for the classroom.

Cults Religion and Violence

Author: David G. Bromley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521668989
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Explores recent high profile cases of new religious movements involved in violence.

The Politics of Religious Apostasy

Author: David G. Bromley
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780275955083
Format: PDF, Docs
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The controversy surrounding new religions has brought to the forefront the role of apostates. This volume examines the motivations of apostates, how they are recruited and play out their roles, the kinds of narratives they construct to discredit their previous groups, and their impact.