New Religious Movements is a highly unique volume, bringing together primary documents conveying the words and ideas of a wide array of new religious movements (NRMs), and offering a first-hand look into their belief systems.
Arranged by the editors according to a new typology, the text allows readers to consider NRMS along five interrelated pathways-from those that offer new perceptions of existence or new personal identities, to those that center on relationships within family-like units, to those movements that highlight the need for recasting the social order or anticipate the dawn of a new age.
The volume includes original documents from groups such as the Unification Church, Theosophy, Branch Davidians, Wicca, Jehovah's Witnesses, Santeria, and Seventh Day Adventists, as well as many others. Each section is prefaced by a contextual introduction and concludes with a list of sources for further reading. New Religious Movements offers a rare inside look into the worldviews of alternative religious traditions.
Publisher: New York University Press
Number of pages: 341
Weight: 581 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
"New religious movements have been in the public eye for decades, and have been the focus of a great deal of debate. Now, at long last, they get to speak for themselves. Dereck Daschke and W. Michael Ashcraft have given us an outstanding resource for understanding new religions, one useful to scholars and students as well as the inquisitive general public. The selections are excellent, and the introductions are models of clarity and accuracy. this volume of primary materials is overdue and very welcome."
-Timothy Miller,University of Kansas
"This book introduces readers to these faiths, utilizing the best of both worlds: the NRMs get to express themselves in the words of their own hallowed texts, while the religious scholars Daschke and Ashcraft place these new and interesting belief systems in their proper historical and theosophical context."
-New York Spirit
"Overall, this scholarly, succinct work offers a balanced approach to a contentious topic. Public and academic libraries should purchase two copies, one for reference and one for circulating collections."
"New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader is an essential text for courses on new religions. It combines well selected source materials with knowledgeable and accessible introductions. The appendix containing an essay by Douglas Cowan on the history of anticult and countercult movements is a very helpful addition."
-Catherine Wessinger,Co-general Editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions.