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Minority Religions and Uncertainty

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

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Abstract

Religions are at their core about creating certainty. But what happens when groups lose control of their destiny? Whether it leads to violence, or to nonviolent innovations, as found in minority religions following the death of their founders or leaders, uncertainty and insecurity can lead to great change in the
mission and even teachings of religious groups. This book brings together an international range of contributors to explore the uncertainty faced by new and minority religious movements as well as non-religious fringe groups.

The groups considered in the book span a range of religious traditions (Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam), old and new spiritual formations such as esotericism, New Age and organized new religious movements, as well as non-religious movements including the straight edge movement and the British Union of Fascists. The chapters deal with a variety of contexts, from the UK and US, to Japan and Egypt, with others discussing global movements. While all the authors deal with twentieth- and twenty-first-century movements and issues, several focus explicitly on historical cases or change over time.

This wide-ranging, yet cohesive volume will be of great interest to scholars of minority religious movements and non-religious fringe groups working across religious studies, sociology and social psychology.