Cover image for The new believers : a survey of sects, cults and alternative religions
The new believers : a survey of sects, cults and alternative religions
Barrett, David V.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Cassell ; New York, NY : Distributed in the United States by Sterling Pub., 2001.
Physical Description:
544 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Revised and greatly expanded edition of ... Sects, cults & alternative religions."--P. 9.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP603 .B37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Barrett an accessible, objective, and...encyclopedic fashion that makes his work truly stand out."--Library Journal. "This is a fascinating book to read. . .a useful resource. . ."--Booklist. A greatly expanded, revised, and updated edition of this much-praised, topical, and best-selling reference. From variations on the major world religions to the Moonies, Wicca, Scientology, and Transcendental Meditation, it's the best available source book to the off beat and alternative organizations, sects, and cult movements. The first edition and the paperback version both sold out--and this will prove equally popular.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In this revised and expanded edition of his Sects, "Cults" and Alternative Religions (LJ 6/1/97), Barrett addresses issues such as why and how people join alternative religion or what went wrong at Waco and Jonestown and with Heaven's Gate or Aum Shinrikyo. Part 1 presents all new material, adding significant and interesting information to his earlier volume. Part 2, with 20 new entries, covers over 60 individual movements. A list of the movements' addresses is arranged alphabetically within each chapter, and an index makes it easy to find individual movements in the text. Because many of the movements include mention of their U.K. presence, the book at times seems British in focus, though most points are also related to the global scene. Barrett's precise and objective approach makes this a highly recommended title for all public libraries and for academic libraries seeking a comprehensive survey and exploration of humanity's beliefs and practices. Leroy Hommerding, Fort Myers Beach P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This revised and expanded edition (1st, 1996) provides a useful summary of the scholarly literature on new and alternative religions. It covers the major issues, such as recruitment and forms of social organization (cults and sects), and many of the more obvious and visible US and British examples. Sixty movements (20 new since the 1st edition) are described. While providing sound information, this work does not break any new ground. The author's sometimes-arrogant tone is irritating, and he also is unjustifiably contemptuous of the academic literature. It therefore is not appropriate as an undergraduate textbook. Even so, it is much better than most works intended for a general audience, and it should be available as a reference work in any good university library. All readership groups. D. L. Jorgensen University of South Florida