New Religious Movements in the United States and Canada: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography

By Diane Choquette | Go to book overview

Sociological and
Anthropological Studies

General Works

109. Agehananda Swami Bharati. The Light at the Center: Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism. Santa Barbara, Calif: Ross-Erickson, 1976.

Bharati calls his trenchant critique of mystical movements a work of "radical anthropology," the result of "participation" but not participant-observation. A social scientist and a mystic, he discusses what mysticism is and what the mystic does. He is very critical of the spiritual eclecticism he sees in the United States and voices strong opinions about the worth of various Indian gurus. The tone is somewhat arrogant, but many will find this work fascinating reading. Bibliography and index.

110. Anthony Dick, and Robbins Thomas. "Spiritual Innovation and the Crisis of American Civil Religion." Daedalus, Winter 1982, pp. 215-234.

The authors see new religions as an effort to create a morality to replace that lost in the breakdown of civil religion, as defined by Robert Bellah. Some groups, such as the Unification Church and Peoples Temple, here designated "civil religion sects," attempt to fill the void with a dualistic conservatism, while at the other extreme, monistic groups such as Meher Baba Lovers avoid authoritarian structures and moral absolutes. Anthony and Robbins have one of the most comprehensive views of new religions and are very aware of the wide variety of these groups.

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New Religious Movements in the United States and Canada: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction 3
  • Reference Works 19
  • Cultural Background of New Religious Movements 30
  • Interdisciplinary Collected Essays 34
  • Historical Studies 38
  • Sociological and Anthropological Studies 46
  • Psychological and Psychiatric Studies 99
  • Theological and Religious Studies 122
  • Legal Studies 137
  • Personal Accounts 148
  • Popular Studies 154
  • New Religious Movements and the Spiritualization of Knowledge 171
  • Appendix: Selected New Religious Movements Publishers 181
  • Author and Title Index 187
  • Subject Index 219
  • About the Compiler 237
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