There are more than 200 new religious movements in the United States alone. A Reader in New Religious Movements aims to provide an introduction to the main teachings of a selection of these organizations, focusing on those which are well-established in the West. The contemporary--and in some cases controversial -- new religious movements covered include: The Unification Church, The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, The Family, Osho, Soka Gakkai International and the Western Buddhist Order.
"This is an excellent anthology and sourcebook on a number of prominent new religious movements, containing original writings of several founders and members of some of the more controversial and well-known 'cults.' The editors have assisted the reader by furnishing substantial introductions to segments of the volume, setting the selections within a sociological informed context.... This book is a valuable reference for scholars and laypersons alike, as they try to comprehend the continuing development of new religious movements in contemporary societies." James T. Richardson, Journal of Church and State, Spring 2007--Sanford Lakoff 'Chryssides and Wilkins' reader not only presents an excellent selection of hard-to-find source material on New Religions, but it also provides a representative selection of counter-movement material. A collection of this kind should prove especially useful for courses on New Religious Movements.'
James R. Lewis, Lecturer of Religious Studies, University of Wisconsin, and editor of" The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements" 'This is an extraordinarily and uniquely useful collection of writings not about, but "by", founders and members of seven of the better-known 'cults' or new religious movements. The editors supply an introduction, and helpful orientations to each of the nine sections on the movements' origins, beliefs and practices. The volume concludes with some responses to new religions by 'cult-watching groups', the European Union and Christian Churches, and suggestions for further reading from both primary and secondary sources. I recommend this invaluable resource to scholars, clerics and libraries in every school, college and university that has the slightest interest in new religions.'
Eileen Barker, Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion, London School of Economics 'This is an anthology for which I have been waiting a long time. It is not a collection of short gobbets, but, far more usefully, an anthology of substantial readings with helpful and authoritative introductions to each of the new religions included. There is also a good selection of texts produced by organisations that have responded to new religions. Those of us who teach in the area are indebted to George Chryssides and Margaret Wilkins for providing a superb resource that will be a core text for courses on new religious movements for many years to come. I warmly recommend this" Reader in New Religious Movements".'
Christopher Partridge, Professor of Contemporary Religion, University of Chester
Introduction..PART 1: NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS..1. Brahma Kumaris..2. Church Universal and Triumphant..3. The Family (formerly Children of God)..4. The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (formerly the Unification Church)..5. The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order..6. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness..7. Osho / Rajneesh..8. The Ra lian Movement..PART 2: READINGS..1. Origins and founder-leaders..2. Key writings and scriptures..3. Predicament..4. Worldviews..5. Lifestyle..6. Spiritual practice..7. Social issues..8. Organisation..9. Ultimate goal..PART 3: RESPONSES..Introduction..1. Counselling and monitoring organisations..2. Official reports: governmental..3. New religions and the Churches..Glossary of terms..Bibliography