Cover image for Exploring new religions
Title:
Exploring new religions
Author:
Chryssides, George D., 1945-
Publication Information:
New York : Cassell, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
x, 405 pages ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
Subject Term:

ISBN:
9780304336517

9780304336524
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Adopting an objective stance, this book examines the teachings and practices of a wide variety of new religious groups. The first two chapters raise general issues about cults, such as definitions, statistics, evangelization tactics, issues of public concern and methods of study. Subsequent chapters deal with new religions by genre - the older minority groups, New Christian groups, Hindu and Buddhist groups, the self-religions and the New Age. Each of these chapters begins with a general discussion of the background to each type of movement and selects three representative movements for greater in-depth study.


Summary

Chryssides provides important analysis of the 'killer cults' -- the Jonestown Peoples Temple, Waco, the Solar Temple and Heaven's Gate -- and examines the factors that made their followers willing to die for their cause. Older groups like Jehovah's Witnesses and the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are discussed, and the author traces the development of a variety of strands of spirituality, ranging from New Thought to Transcendentalism 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'). Some less well-known groups are also featured: est (Erhard Seminar Training), the New Kadampa Tradition, Brahma Kumaris, Sai Baba, Subud and the Western Buddhist Order. Also included is a study of the New Age phenomenon, and an account of responses to new religions, at religious, societal, and political levels. Book jacket.


Author Notes

George D. Chryssides is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton.


George D. Chryssides is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
1. Methodological issuesp. 1
2. The 'suicide cults'p. 33
3. The old new religionsp. 77
4. The 'New Christian' movementsp. 120
5. New religions in the Hindu traditionp. 164
6. New forms of Buddhismp. 204
7. Independent new religionsp. 244
8. The Human Potential Movementp. 278
9. New Age, witchcraft and Paganismp. 315
10. The counter-cult movementp. 342
Appendix 1 Statistical datap. 366
Appendix 2 Compendiump. 370
Bibliographyp. 377
Indexp. 391
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
1. Methodological issuesp. 1
2. The 'suicide cults'p. 33
3. The old new religionsp. 77
4. The 'New Christian' movementsp. 120
5. New religions in the Hindu traditionp. 164
6. New forms of Buddhismp. 204
7. Independent new religionsp. 244
8. The Human Potential Movementp. 278
9. New Age, witchcraft and Paganismp. 315
10. The counter-cult movementp. 342
Appendix 1 Statistical datap. 366
Appendix 2 Compendiump. 370
Bibliographyp. 377
Indexp. 391