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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

(p.215) 10 Notes on the Aumist Religion
Controversial New Religions

PierLuigi Zoccatelli

Oxford University Press

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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