New religious movements are proliferating in nearly every region of the world. From new sects within larger global movements such as Islam, Christianity, or Buddhism, to the growth and spread of minority religions (e.g. ISKON, Unification Church, and Scientology) and the development of completely new religions, the future of these new religious movements will increasingly come to be played out on a political battlefield. Governments in many countries in both the industrialized and the developing worlds have enacted new policies and legislation that dramatically affect not only marginal and minority religious groups but also the broader power relationships between states and the religious freedom of their citizens. New Religious Movements in the 21st Century is the first volume to examine the urgent and important issues facing new religions in their political, legal and religious contexts in global perspective.
With essays from prominent new religious movement scholars and usefully organized into four regional areas covering Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, Russia and Eastern Europe, and North and South America, as well as a concluding section on the major themes of globalization and terrorist violence, this book provides invaluable insight into the challenges facing religion in the twenty-first century. An introduction by Tom Robbins provides an overview of the major issues and themes discussed in the book.
Phillip Lucas is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Stetson University. He is the author The Oddyssey of a New Religion and Prime Time Religion, with J. Gordon Melton and Jon Stone. He is also the founding editor of the journal iNova Religion. Tom Robbins, an independent scholar, has authored and edited many volumes including Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem (Routledge, 1997).