Comprehending cults : the sociology of new religious movements /

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Dawson, Lorne L., 1954-
Format: Book
Published:Don Mills, Ont. ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Edition:Second edition.
Table of Contents:
  • 1. Why study new religious movements?
  • The cults in our midst
  • The hostility towards cults
  • Box 1. They come in all shapes and sizes
  • Responding to the suspicions of the public
  • 2. What are new religious movements?
  • Religion and its continuing significance
  • Churches, sects, and cults
  • Creating a typology of cults
  • Box 2. How new religious movements change with success
  • 3. Why did new religious movements emerge?
  • Asking the right question first
  • New religious movements as a response to cultural change
  • Box 3. Three models of cult formation
  • New religious movements as an expression of cultural continuity
  • Concluding remarks
  • 4. Who joins new religious movements and why?
  • The stereotypes
  • Getting involved with new religious movements
  • The social attributes of those who join
  • Box 4. Why are American converts to new religious movements disproportionately Jewish?
  • Some reasons for joining
  • 5. Are converts to new religious movements 'brainwashed'?
  • The issue and its significance
  • The case against the cults
  • The case against brainwashing
  • Box 5. The active versus passive convert
  • Reformulating the issues in the brainwashing debate
  • 6. Why are new religious movements so often accused of sexual deviance?
  • Sexual deviance and the cults
  • Box 6. Child abuse and the social control of NRMs
  • Gender matters
  • 7. Why do some new religious movements become violent?
  • Responding to recent 'cult' tragedies
  • Apocalyptic beliefs
  • Charismatic leadership
  • Social encapsulation
  • Box 7. Surviving the failure of apocalyptic prophecies
  • Concluding remarks
  • 8. What is the cultural significance of new religious movements?
  • Our skewed perspective
  • Modernism and the new religious movements
  • Box 8. Factors affecting the success of NRMs
  • Postmodernism and the new religious movements
  • NRMs : anti-modern, modern, or postmodern?
  • Concluding remarks.