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New Age and holistic beliefs and practices – sometimes called the "new spirituality" – are widely distributed across modern global society. The fluid and popular nature of new age makes these movements a very challenging field to understand using traditional models of religious analysis. Rather than treating new age as an exotic specimen on the margins of ‘proper’ religion, "New Age Spirituality" examines these movements as a form of everyday or lived religion. The book brings together an international range of scholars to explore the key issues: insight, healing, divination, meditation, gnosis, extraordinary experiences, and interactions with gods, spirits and superhuman powers.
This is the first historical collection with a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective on youth, youth revolts and social movements in the 1980s, focusing on both Eastern and Western Europe, and on both political and subcultural movements.
In the new mega-anthology from best-selling editor Russ Kick, more than fifty writers, reporters, and researchers invade the inner sanctum for an unrestrained look at the wild and wooly world of organized belief.Richard Dawkins shows us the strange, scary properties of religion; Neil Gaiman turns a biblical atrocity story into a comic (that almost sent a publisher to prison); Erik Davis looks at what happens when religion and California collide; Mike Dash eyes stigmatics; Douglas Rushkoff exposes the trouble with Judaism; Paul Krassner reveals his “Confessions of an Atheist”; and best-selling lexicographer Jonathon Green interprets the language of religious prejudice.A
The central purpose of this book is to help change the terms of the debate on animism, a classic theme in anthropology. It combines some of the finest ethnographic material currently available (including firsthand research on the Chachi of Ecuador) with an unusually broad geographic scope (the Americas, Asia, and Africa). Edward B. Tylor originally defined animism as the first phase in the development of religion. The heyday of cultural evolutionism may be over, but his basic conception is commonly assumed to remain valid in at least one respect: there is still a broad consensus that everything is alive within animism, or at least that more things are alive than a modern scientific observer would allow for (e.g
Claiming Society for God focuses on common strategies employed by religiously orthodox, "fundamentalist" movements around the world. Rather than employing terrorism, as much of post-9/11 thinking suggests, the most prominent and successful religiously orthodox movements use a patient, under-the-radar strategy of infiltrating and subtly transforming civil society. Nancy J. Davis and Robert V. Robinson tell the stories of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Shas in Israel, Comunione e Liberazione in Italy, and the Salvation Army in the United States.
Independent Catholics are not formally connected to the pope in Rome. They practice apostolic succession, seven sacraments, and devotion to the saints. But without a pope, they can change quickly and experiment freely, with some affirming communion for the divorced, women’s ordination, clerical marriage, and same-sex marriage. From their early modern origins in the Netherlands to their contemporary proliferation in the United States, these "other Catholics" represent an unusually liberal, mobile, and creative version of America’s largest religion.I
UFO phenomena entered American consciousness at the beginning of the Cold War, when reports from astonished witnesses of encounters with unknown aerial objects captured the attention of the United States military and the imagination of the press and the public. But when UFOs appeared not to be hostile, and when some scientists pronounced the sightings to be of natural meteorological phenomena misidentified due to ‘Cold War jitters’, military interest declined sharply and, with it, further overt scientific interest.
The Statue of Liberty–depicted on a roadside billboard–did not carry her customary torch and tablet. Instead, she shielded her eyes from words that towered beside her, words that highway drivers could not possibly avoid: "We are no longer a Christian nation." Underneath was the name of the man who spoke them, the nation’s president, Barack Obama. He had made the original statement–"Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation, at least not just"–four years earlier.
Writing History, Constructing Religion presents a much-needed interdisciplinary exploration of the significance of debates among historians, scholars of religion and cultural theorists over the ‘nature’ of history to the study of religion. The distinguished authors discuss issues related to definitions of history, postmodernism, critical theory, and the impact on the study and analysis of religious traditions;
One hundred years after the publication of the great sociological treatise, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, this new volume shows how aptly Durkheim¹s theories still resonate with the study of contemporary and historical religious societies. The volume applies the Durkheimian model to multiple cases, probing its resilience, wondering where it might be tweaked, and asking which aspects have best stood the test of time. A dialogue between theory and ethnography, this book shows how Durkheimian sociology has become a mainstay of social thought and theory, pointing to multiple ways in which Durkheim¹s work on religion remains relevant to our thinking about culture.
This Handbook is based on the conviction of its editors and contributing authors that understanding and acceptance of, as well as collaboration between religions has essential educational value. The development of this Handbook rests on the f- ther assumption that interreligious education has an important role in elucidating the global demand for human rights, justice, and peace. Interreligious education reveals that the creeds and holy books of the world’s religions teach about sp- itual systems that reject violence and the individualistic pursuit of economic and political gain, and call their followers to compassion for every human being.
“Silver” Winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Religion CategoryBefore he began his recent travels, it seemed to Phil Zuckerman as if humans all over the globe were “getting religion”—praising deities, performing holy rites, and soberly defending the world from sin. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don’t worship any god at all, don’t pray, and don’t give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. Instead of being bastions of sin and corruption, however, as the Christian Right has suggested a godless society would be, these countries are filled with residents who score at the very top of the “happiness index” and enjoy their healthy societies, which boast some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the world (along with some of the lowest levels of corruption), excellent educational systems, strong economies, well-supported arts, free health care, egalitarian social policies, outstanding bike paths, and great beer.Z
American Grace is a major achievement, a groundbreaking examination of religion in America.Unique among nations, America is deeply religious, religiously diverse, and remarkably tolerant. But in recent decades the nation’s religious landscape has been reshaped.America has experienced three seismic shocks, say Robert Putnam and David Campbell. In the 1960s, religious observance plummeted. Then in the 1970s and 1980s, a conservative reaction produced the rise of evangelicalism and the Religious Right.
Discussions of any religion can easily raise passions. But arguments tend to become even more heated when the religion under discussion is characterized as new. Divisions around the study of new religious movements (NRMs), or cults, or nontraditional or alternative or emergent religions are so acute that there is even controversy over what to call them. John Saliba strives to bring balance to these discussions by offering perspectives on new religions from different academic perspectives: history, psychology, sociology, law, theology, and counseling.
The present volume, a continuation of the series Contemporary Philosophy (International Institute of Philosophy), provides an international survey of significant trends in contemporary philosophy.Volume 10: Philosophy of Religion contains seventeen surveys written in English, French and German, describing the variety of philosophical approaches to religion and the impact of the ongoing secularization process on religious beliefs. The articles reflect upon the major world religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and African religions, but also on such topics as Mayas and Nahuas’ conception of man, theology and philosophy, and Christianity and philosophy.
Children born and raised on the religious fringe are a distinctive yet largely unstudied social phenomenon -they are irreversibly shaped by the experience having been thrust into a radical religious culture by birth. The religious group is all encompassing. It accounts for their family, their school, social networks, and everything that prepares them for their adult life. The inclusion of a second generation of participants raises new concerns and legal issues. Perfect Children examines the ways new religious movements adapt to a second generation, how children are socialized, what happens to these children as they mature, and how their childhoods have affected them.
Amanda van Twist conducted over 50 in-depth interviews with individuals born into new religious groups, some of whom have stayed in the group, some of whom have left. She also visited the groups, their schools and homes, and analyzed support websites maintained by those who left the religious groups that raised them. She also attended conferences held by NGOs concerned with the welfare of children in “cults.” The main groups she studies include the Bruderhof, Scientology, the Family International, the Unification Church, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Children born into new religions often start life as “special children” believed to be endowed with heightened spiritual capabilities. But as they mature into society at large they acquire other labels. Those who stay in the group are usually labeled as “goodies” and “innovators”. Those who leave tend to be labeled as “baddies” or seen as “troubled.” Whether they stay or leave, children raised on the religious fringe experience a unique form of segregation in adulthood.
Van Twist analyzes group behavior on an organizational/institutional level as well as individual behavior within groups, and how these affect one another. Her study also raises larger questions about religious freedom in the light of the State’s responsibility towards children, and children’s rights against the rights of parents to raise their children within their religion.
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