Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America [5 volumes] (Annotated edition)

Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America [5 volumes] (Annotated edition)

By: William Michael Ashcraft (editor), Eugene V. Gallagher (editor)Hardback

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Most new or alternative religious are gravely misunderstood by members of the religious mainstream. Labeled cults or sects, groups and their members are often ridiculed or otherwise disregarded as weird and potentially dangerous by the populace at large. Despite their efforts at educating the general public, the various anti- and counter-cult activists have in fact promoted much more mis-understanding than accurate understanding of the religious lives of some of their fellow citizens. Consequently, they have helped to create a very hostile environment for anyone whose religious practices do not fit within a so-called mainstream. This set rectifies the situation by presenting accurate, comprehensive, authoritative and accessible accounts of various new and alternative religious movements that have been and are active in American society, and it addresses ways of understanding new and alternative religions within a broader context. Determining what actually constitutes a new or alternative religion is a subject of constant debate. Questions arise as to a new faith's legitimacy, beliefs, methods of conversion, and other facets of a religious movement's viability and place in a given culture. How a religion gains recognition by the mainstream, which often labels such new movements as cults, is fraught with difficulty, tension, and fear. Here, experts delineate the boundaries and examine the various groups, beliefs, movements, and other issues related to new faiths and alternative beliefs. Readers will come away with a fuller understanding of the religious landscape in America today. Volume 1: History and Controversies discusses the foundations of new and alternative religions in the United States and addresses the controversies that surround them. This volume helps readers better understand what makes a new or alternative belief system a religion and the issues involved. Volume 2: Jewish and Christian Traditions explores the various new religions that have grown out of these two Abrahamic faiths. Groups such as the Shakers, the People's Temple, the Branch Davidians, Jehovah's Witnesses and others are examined. Volume 3: Metaphysical, New Age, and Neopagan Movements looks at Shamanism, Spiritualism, Wicca, and Paganism, among other movements, as they have developed and grown in the U.S. These faiths have found new and devoted followers yet are often misunderstood. Volume 4: Asian Traditions focuses on those new and alternative religions that have been inspired by Asian religious traditions. From Baha'i to Soka Gakkai, from Adidam to the Vedanta Society, contributors look at a full range of groups practicing and worshiping in the U.S. today. Volume 5: African Diaspora Traditions and Other American Innovations examines the various traditions linked to the African diaspora such as Rastafarianism, Santeria, and the Nation of Islam, alongside traditions that are truly American incarnations like Scientology, UFO religions, and Heaven's Gate. Some of the new and alternative religions covered in these pages include:; Shamanism; Wicca; Black Israelites; Santeria; Scientology; Elan Vital; Hare Krishna; Soka Gakkai; and many more

About Author

Eugene V. Gallagher is the Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies at Connecticut College. He is the author of Divine Man or Magician? Celsus and Origen on Jesus (1980), Expectation and Experience: Explaining Religious Conversion (1990), The New Religious Movements Experience in America (2004), and, with James D. Tabor, Why Waco? Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America (1995) as well as articles on ancient Mediterranean religions and contemporary new religious movements.W. Michael Ashcraft is Associate Professor of Religion at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. He is the author of The Dawn of the New Cycle: Point Loma Theosophists and American Culture (2002) and co-editor with Dereck Daschke of New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader (2005).


VOLUME I: HISTORY AND CONTROVERSIES Introduction New Religious Movements in American History Leadership in New Religious Movements Affiliation and Disaffiliation Careers in New Religious Movements New Religious Movements and the Law New Religious Movements and Globalization Critiquing Cults: An Historical Perspective Evangelical Christian Countercult Movement New Religious Movements and Violence Gender in New and Alternative Religions Children in New Religious Movements: The Mormon Experience Same-Sex Eroticism and Gender Fluidity in New and Alternative Religions Millennial Destiny: A History of Millennialism in America VOLUME II: JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS Introduction The Shakers The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Adventist Tradition Jehovahs Witnesses Christian Science Peoples Temple: A Typical Cult? The Children of God / The Family The Branch Davidians Christian Identity: An American Millennial Mythology Judaism and Christianity Unite!: The Unique Culture of Messianic Judaism VOLUME III: METAPHYSICAL, NEW AGE, NEOPAGAN MOVEMENTS Introduction Swedenborgianism Spiritualism The Theosophical Society The American New Thought Movement North American Esotericism ECKANKAR The New Age: A Twentieth Century Movement Contemporary Shamanism The Worship of the Goddess in Feminist Spirituality in the United States Wicca, Witchcraft, and Modern Paganism Learning about Paganism Ritual and Neopaganism VOLUME IV: ASIAN TRADITIONS Introduction The Vedanta Society The Hare Krishna Movement: Beginnings, Change, and Transformation Soka Gakkai: A Human Revolution From Guru Maharaj Ji to Prem Rawat: Paradigm shifts over the Period of Forty Years as a Master (1966-2006) Adidam Buddhism in America Tibetan Buddhism in the United States The Unification Church/Movement in the United States The Bah's of the United States VOLUME V: AFRICAN DIASPORA TRADITIONS AND OTHER AMERICAN INNOVATIONS Introduction Part I The Nation of Islam Alternatives to Religion in African American Islamic Communities I: The Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths Alternatives to Religion in African American Islamic Communities II: The Ansaaru Allah Community/Nuwaubian Nation of Moors Black Israelites aka Black Jews aka Black Hebrews: Black Israelism, Black Judaism, Judaic Christianity Santera Rastafarianism Vodou in the United States: The Case of New Orleans Part II Satanism and the Church of Satan The Church of Scientology Heavens Gate UFO(s and) Religion New and Alternative Nature Religions in America

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780275987121
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 1504
  • ID: 9780275987121
  • ISBN10: 0275987124
  • edition: Annotated edition

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