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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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Charting the Information Field: Cult‐Watching Groups and the Construction of Images of New Religious Movements

Charting the Information Field: Cult‐Watching Groups and the Construction of Images of New Religious Movements

Chapter:
(p.309) Charting the Information Field: Cult‐Watching Groups and the Construction of Images of New Religious Movements
Source:
Teaching New Religious Movements
Author(s):

Eileen Barker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177299.003.0015

This chapter presents an exercise in the practical application of the sociology of knowledge, the key question being the variety of often-conflicting descriptions that are publicly available on the content and nature of new religions. Various types of perspectives about the movements are delineated with an discussion of “where they are coming from” — that is, what are the underlying interests concerning the movements that motivate the members of different categories of “cult-watching groups” — how the methodology they employ results in their selecting certain aspects of the movements' beliefs, practices, and organization (and ignoring other aspects) in the construction of their images of the movements.

Keywords:   anti-cult, cult awareness, cult apologists, cult-watching groups, counter-cult groups, research-oriented groups, new religious movements, lawyers, therapists, Verstehen

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