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Teaching New Religious Movements$
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David G. Bromley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177299.001.0001

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Abuse in New Religious Movements: Challenges for the Sociology of Religion

Abuse in New Religious Movements: Challenges for the Sociology of Religion

(p.231) Abuse in New Religious Movements: Challenges for the Sociology of Religion
Teaching New Religious Movements

Janet Jacobs

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the study of abuse in new religious movements. Drawing on the literature on patriarchal charismatic movements, the chapter explores the dynamics of physical and sexual abuse that characterized leader-follower relationships across a diverse number of religious groups. Case studies are used to illustrate the types of violence that were reported by devotees. Feminist theories of patriarchal social structure and feminist analyses of violence are used to help explain this troubling aspect of religious commitment. Finally, various strategies for teaching about violence in NRMs are discussed, with an emphasis on the difficulties that these issues raise for classroom teaching.

Keywords:   sexual abuse, feminist theory, patriarchy, violence, charismatic authority, abuse of power

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