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Controversial New Religions$
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James R. Lewis and Jesper Aagaard Petersen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019515682X.001.0001

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Notes on the Aumist Religion

Notes on the Aumist Religion

Chapter:
(p.215) 10 Notes on the Aumist Religion
Source:
Controversial New Religions
Author(s):

PierLuigi Zoccatelli

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019515682X.003.0010

This essay describes how Aumism’s original Hindu identity was transformed into a universalism that seemed to blend Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, and Judaism as a consequence of founder Gilbert Bourdin’s self-identification as the Cosmoplanetary Messiah. However, this apparent syncretism is less significant than the role that esoteric, occult traditions play in Aumism, and that constitute a “second pillar” on which Aumism has gradually been constructed as a separate “tradition.” Both historically, in terms of Bourdin’s background in esoteric study, and sociologically, in terms of the background of a majority of members, Aumism is an esoteric group, which is a fundamental type, distinct from religious movements and cult movements.

Keywords:   Aumism, Gilbert Bourdin, universalism, symbolism, religious movement

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