New Religious Movements in Western Europe: An Annotated Bibliography

By Elisabeth Arweck; Peter B. Clarke | Go to book overview

Series Foreword

The first impulse has been to focus on the newness of the phenomenon of religious movements in the late twentieth century. It seems to be an unprecedented event. Furthermore, the new religious movements seem a suspicious development, promoting social and cultural dislocation. It has been asked, are these groups not a further erosion of the traditional religions that have promoted civilization? Are they not themselves creating conditions in which "things fall apart"? Are they not an escape from rationality?

Hurst & Murphy, "New and Transplanted Religions" in Movements and Issues in World Religions

New religious movements do not and cannot set up "altar against altar" in every town and neighborhood and are not at their best advantage in competition with the Sunday morning service. Rather, they are likely, on the one hand, to have a center or centers (a school, community, retreat or meditation hall) which are even more intense than what the average parish church offers and, on the other hand, to exercise a diffuse influence, largely among nonmembers, through lectures, books, periodicals, correspondence courses, and even radio and television.

Ellwood, "Introduction" in New Religious Movements in the United States and Canada

New Religious Movements (NRMs) have been with us for thirty years or more in their modern guise, emerging in what Ellwood terms the "yeasty spiritual ferment" of the 1960s, especially in the United States ( Ellwood, 1985: 3). There and in Western Europe, society and social values have become increasingly pluralistic, reflecting in part the significant migrations of peoples and ideas from Africa, Asia and Latin America into cultures previously classified as "Western Christian". With these migrations have come new cultural values and different forms of religious life, which themselves spread more rapidly than in previous decades, due in part to mass communication

-vii-

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New Religious Movements in Western Europe: An Annotated Bibliography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction: Change and Variety in New Religious Movements in Western Europe, C. 1960 to the Present xvii
  • References xxxix
  • Annotated Bibliography xlv
  • Indexes 336
  • About the Authors 381
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