This chapter is a brief review of the role played by women in a variety of eighteenth and nineteenth century new religions and in the post-1960s new religious movements. The first part discusses a number of female millenarian visionaries, such as Ann Lee, Joanna Southcott, and Mary Baker Eddy, and the female founders of Theosophy in an attempt to explain the appeal of these ‘new religions’ to a female audience. The second part demonstrates that women outnumbered men in the type of new religious movements which were non-patriarchal and placed emphasis on independence and empowerment.
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