Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis

By William W. Zellner; Marc Petrowsky | Go to book overview

Introduction
Editors Bill Zellner and Marc Petrowsky found the editing of Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis a most gratifying experience. Our intent, as sociologists, was to illustrate concepts used by social scientists in the fields of their endeavor. The book is not, however, applicable just to the field of sociology, but is appropriate for use in other social science courses, including religion, history, anthropology, and psychology. By choosing authors with varying backgrounds and experiences, the editors have made the book an interdisciplinary experience.Another reason for the book's appeal is that it is descriptive and explanatory rather than analytical. True, the description is interwoven with basic sociological concepts, but systematic analysis and inductive reasoning have been left to the reader.There is probably as much cultural diversity in the United States as in any country of the world. Dozens of ethnic groups form interesting subcultures, some attractive to the dominant culture, some less so. Myriad religious denominations, sects, cults, and self-help groups vie for members. This tremendous range of associational groups sets the United States apart from all other nations in the world.Of all the nontraditional groups that have been part of the American scene, nine have been chosen for inclusion in the present volume:
Total Overcomers Anonymous/Heaven's Gate
Jesus People USA

-vii-

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Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chapter 1 - The Evolution of a New Age Cult: from Total Overcomers Anonymous to Death at Heaven's Gate 1
  • Bibliography 24
  • Chapter 2 - Jesus People Usa 27
  • Bibliography 38
  • Chapter 3 - The Farm 41
  • Chapter 4 - The Love Family: Its Formative Years 63
  • Bibliography 93
  • Chapter 5 - El NiñO Fidencio and the Fidencistas 95
  • Notes 113
  • Bibliography 114
  • Chapter 6 - Santería 117
  • Bibliography 130
  • Chapter 7 - Single Women in Amish Society 131
  • Bibliography 139
  • Chapter 8 - The Church of Scientology: a Quasi Religion 141
  • Bibliography 155
  • Chapter 9 - Freedom Park 157
  • Bibliography 176
  • Index 177
  • About the Editors and Contributors 181
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