Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction
Title first published in 2003. Alternative religions attract great public, academic and government interest in our apparently post-Christian society. Yet how did all the 'alternatives' develop, what are their beliefs and practices and how significant is their impact in terms of the world's religions and society? This book presents a comprehensive introduction to the major forms of alternative religions: Cults, Sects, New Religious Movements, the New Age, Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, Ethnic Religions and Quasi-religions. Stephen Hunt presents sociological insights into the rise of alternative religions, their beliefs and practices, their impact, who joins them, and how they are being classified and could be re-classified in the future. Public and legal controversies surrounding some alternative religions, such as the so-called 'dangerous cults', are also explored. This book offers students insights into contemporary themes such as secularisation, post-modernity, links between religion, healing and and changes in our global culture.
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Aetherius Society Age movement alternative religions American appear argued aspects astrology attracted become beliefs and practices Britain Buddhism cent Chapter Charismatic Charismatic movement Christ Christadelphians Christian fundamentalism claim concerned constitutes contemporary conversion counter-culture cults cultural decline denominations derived developed display divine doctrines embrace emphasis esoteric esotericism established ethnic evangelical evidence expressions faith forms of religion frequently fundamentalism fundamentalist global God’s groups growth gurus healing Hence Hinduism human potential increasingly individual individual’s interpretation involved ISKCON Islam Jehovah’s Witnesses Jesus Jesus movement lifestyle lives London magic mainstream Christianity means meditation membership middle-class modern moral Mormons Muslim mysticism neo-Paganism neo-Pentecostalism Nonetheless NRMs occult occultist one’s organization pagan Pentecostalism perceived popular post-modernity psychological quasi-religions Rajneesh Religious Movements Restorationism ritual sectarian sects secular significance Sikh Sikhism social sociological spiritual strands Subud suggests supernatural teachings themes today’s traditional Christianity Unification Church various West Western societies Wicca