Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements
Edited by Peter B. Clarke
Routledge – 2008 – 688 pages
New Religious Movements (NRMs) can involve vast numbers of followers and in many cases are radically changing the way people understand and practice religion and spirituality. Moreover, many are having a profound impact on the form and content of mainstream religion. The Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements provides uniquely global coverage of the phenomenon, with entries on over three hundred movements from almost every country in the world. Coverage includes movements that derive from the major religions of the world and to neo-traditional movements, movements often overlooked in the study of NRMs.
In addition to the coverage of particular movements there are also entries on topics, themes, key thinkers and key ideas, for example the New Age Movement, Neo-Paganism, New Religion and gender, NRMs and cyberspace, NRMs and the law, the Anti-Cult Movement, Swedenborg, Jung, Teilhard de Chardin, Lovelock, Gurdjieff, al-Banna, Qutb.
The marked global approach and comprehensiveness of the encyclopedia enable an appreciation of the innovative energy of NRMs, of their extraordinary diversity, and the often surprising ways in which they can propagate geographically. The most ambitions publication of its sort, the Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements is a major addition to the reference literature for students and researchers of the field in religious studies and the social sciences. Entries are cross-referenced with short bibliographies for further reading. There is a full index
'This Encyclopedia offers a truly fascinating, authoritative overview of new religious movements in a global context. What sets this work apart is its assessment of the global significance of a movement (how it progresses cross-culturally) with attention to its transformative appeal (how it seeks to transform its individual adherents or the larger society). This is an outstanding reference source – scholarly, timely, important, and worth the price for academic libraries. Summing Up: Essential.' – CHOICE
'The Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements is an important handbook, both for those working in the field, and for those considering entering the field of New Religious Movements. It is indeed an illuminating guide for anyone who would like to have an overview on contemporary and past New Religious Movements (NRMs) worldwide. … Plurality and objectivity are the basic achievements and the indisputable advantages of this encyclopedia' – Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review
Peter B. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion at King's College, University of London, and a professorial member of Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford.