Comprehending Cults The Sociology of New Religious Movements

ISBN-10: 0195420098

ISBN-13: 9780195420098

Edition: 2nd 2005 (Revised)

Authors: Lorne L. Dawson

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Description:

Comprehending Cults, Second Edition, provides a sociological interpretation of the phenomenon of new religious movements. While the author does not offer an apologia for cults--in either a religious or a sociological sense--he does attempt to replace suspicion and misinformation with a greater knowledge of the facts (as best we know them) and a measure of sympathetic understanding. Completely revised and updated in this second edition, the book examines all aspects of cults, while striving to delineate the very real limits of our knowledge. In addition to dealing with the troublesome aspects of the subject, including issues of violence, sexuality, and brainwashing, the author also considers the possibility that new religious movements are a source of spiritual satisfaction to their members. Offering up-to-date social science research about contemporary religious cults, Comprehending Cults, Second Edition, is ideal for undergraduate sociology of religion and new religious movements courses.
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Book details

List price: $69.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/25/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 266
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Acknowledgements
Why Study New Religious Movements?
The Cults in Our Midst
The Hostility Towards Cults
They Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Responding to the Suspicions of the Public
What Are New Religious Movements?
Religion and Its Continuing Significance
Churches, Sects, and Cults
Creating a Typology of Cults
How New Religious Movements Change with Success
Why Did New Religious Movements Emerge?
Asking the Right Question First
New Religious Movements as a Response to Cultural Change
Three Models of Cult Formation
New Religious Movements as an Expression of Cultural Continuity
Concluding Remarks
Who Joins New Religious Movements and Why?
The Stereotypes
Getting Involved with New Religious Movements
The Social Attributes of Those Who Join
Why Are American Converts to New Religious Movements Disproportionately Jewish?
Some Reasons for Joining
Are Converts to New Religious Movements 'Brainwashed'?
The Issue and Its Significance
The Case Against the Cults
The Case Against Brainwashing
The Active Versus Passive Convert
Reformulating the Issues in the Brainwashing Debate
Why Are New Religious Movements So Often Accused of Sexual Deviance?
Sexual Deviance and the Cults
Child Abuse and the Social Control of NRMs
Gender Matters
Why Do Some New Religious Movements Become Violent?
Responding to Recent 'Cult' Tragedies
Apocalyptic Beliefs
Charismatic Leadership
Social Encapsulation
Surviving the Failure of Apocalyptic Prophecies
Concluding Remarks
What Is the Cultural Significance of New Religious Movements?
Our Skewed Perspective
Modernism and the New Religious Movements
Factors Affecting the Success of NRMs
Postmodernism and the New Religious Movements
NRMs: Anti-modern, Modern, or Postmodern?
Concluding Remarks
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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