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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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Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

A Qualitative Look at the Ethos of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness

(p.331) 15 Heart and Soul
Controversial New Religions

Diana G. Tumminia (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay explores the cultural ethos and uses of meaning in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), a relatively new religion that displays a syncretistic postmodern assortment of religious traditions and spiritual innovation: Christianity, Sant Mat practices, and typical esoteric pursuits found in New Age groups. The controversial side of MSIA lies in its awkward relations with the wider society; as such, the analysis provides an insider’s portrait and outsider’s assessment of what is unproductively labeled a “cult”.

Keywords:   Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, cult, Sant Mat, Christianity, New Age

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