Invented Religions

Author: Professor Carole M Cusack
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409481034
Size: 66.63 MB
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Utilizing contemporary scholarship on secularization, individualism, and consumer capitalism, this book explores religious movements founded in the West which are intentionally fictional: Discordianism, the Church of All Worlds, the Church of the SubGenius, and Jediism. Their continued appeal and success, principally in America but gaining wider audience through the 1980s and 1990s, is chiefly as a result of underground publishing and the internet. This book deals with immensely popular subject matter: Jediism developed from George Lucas' Star Wars films; the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, founded by 26-year-old student Bobby Henderson in 2005 as a protest against the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools; Discordianism and the Church of the SubGenius which retain strong followings and participation rates among college students. The Church of All Worlds' focus on Gaia theology and environmental issues makes it a popular focus of attention. The continued success of these groups of Invented Religions provide a unique opportunity to explore the nature of late/post-modern religious forms, including the use of fiction as part of a bricolage for spirituality, identity-formation, and personal orientation.

The Problem Of Invented Religions

Author: Steven J. Sutcliffe
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317373359
Size: 27.53 MB
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Invented religions have been described as modern religions which advertise their invented status and reject traditional strategies of authorisation. But what does it mean for a religious formation to be ‘made up’, and how might this status affect perceptions of its legitimacy or authenticity in wider society? Based in original fieldwork and archival sources, and in the secondary literature on invented and constructed formations, this volume explores the allure of, as well as the limits of, the invention of religion. Through a series of case studies, the contributors discuss strategies of mobilization and legitimation for new traditions at their point of emergence, as well as taking issue with simplistic interpretations of the phenomenon which neglect wider cultural and political dimensions. This book was originally published as a special issue of Culture and Religion.

Invention Of Tradition And Syncretism In Contemporary Religions

Author: Stefania Palmisano
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331961097X
Size: 78.92 MB
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This book explores manifestations of creativity in the religious domain. Specifically, the contributions focus on the nexus of the sacred and the creative, and the mechanisms of syncretism and (re)invention of tradition by which this manifestations occur. The text is divided into two sections. In the first, empirical cases of spirituality characterized by syncretistic processes are highlighted; in the second, examples which can be traced back to forms of the (re)invention of tradition are examined. The authors document possible forms of adaptations and religious enculturation. In the second, the authors demonstrate that spiritual traditions, whether ancient or historically fictitious, are suitable for reframing in the context of critical interpretative frameworks related to cultural expectations which challenge them and call their continuity into question.

Fiction Invention And Hyper Reality

Author: Carole M. Cusack
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317135490
Size: 76.47 MB
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The twentieth century was a period of rapid change for religion. Secularisation resulted in a dramatic fall in church attendance in the West, and the 1950s and 1960s saw the introduction of new religions including the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), the Church of Scientology, and the Children of God. New religions were regarded with suspicion by society in general and Religious Studies scholars alike until the 1990s, when the emergence of a second generation of 'new new' religions – based on popular cultural forms including films, novels, computer games and comic books – and highly individualistic spiritualities confirmed the utter transformation of the religio-spiritual landscape. Indeed, Scientology and ISKCON appeared almost traditional and conservative when compared to the radically de-institutionalised, eclectic, parodic, fun-loving and experimental fiction-based, invented and hyper-real religions. In this book, scholarly treatments of cutting-edge religious and spiritual trends are brought into conversation with contributions by representatives of Dudeism, the Church of All Worlds, the Temple of the Jedi Order and Tolkien spirituality groups. This book will simultaneously entertain, shock, challenge and delight scholars of religious studies, as well as those with a wider interest in new religious movements.

The Invention Of Religion In Japan

Author: Jason Ananda Josephson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226412350
Size: 35.92 MB
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Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call “religion.” There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea. In this book, Jason Ananda Josephson reveals how Japanese officials invented religion in Japan and traces the sweeping intellectual, legal, and cultural changes that followed. More than a tale of oppression or hegemony, Josephson’s account demonstrates that the process of articulating religion offered the Japanese state a valuable opportunity. In addition to carving out space for belief in Christianity and certain forms of Buddhism, Japanese officials excluded Shinto from the category. Instead, they enshrined it as a national ideology while relegating the popular practices of indigenous shamans and female mediums to the category of “superstitions”—and thus beyond the sphere of tolerance. Josephson argues that the invention of religion in Japan was a politically charged, boundary-drawing exercise that not only extensively reclassified the inherited materials of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to lasting effect, but also reshaped, in subtle but significant ways, our own formulation of the concept of religion today. This ambitious and wide-ranging book contributes an important perspective to broader debates on the nature of religion, the secular, science, and superstition.

The Bloomsbury Companion To New Religious Movements

Author: George D. Chryssides
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441198296
Size: 26.61 MB
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The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements covers key themes such as charismatic leadership, conversion and brainwashing, prophecy and millennialism, violence and suicide, gender and sexuality, legal issues, and the portrayal of New Religious Movements by the media and anti-cult organisations. Several categories of new religions receive special attention, including African new religions, Japanese new religions, Mormons, and UFO religions. This guide to New Religious Movements and their critical study brings together 29 world-class international scholars, and serves as a resource to students and researchers. The volume highlights the current state of academic study in the field, and explores areas in which future research might develop. Clearly and accessibly organised to help users quickly locate key information and analysis, the book includes an A to Z of key terms, extensive guides to further resources, a comprehensive bibliography, and a timeline of major developments in the field such as the emergence of new groups, publications, legal decisions, and historical events.

Historical Dictionary Of New Religious Movements

Author: George D. Chryssides
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 0810879670
Size: 25.50 MB
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In this newly updated second edition of the Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements, George D. Chryssides traces the rise and development of new religious movements throughout the world. An updated introduction summarizes the phenomenon of new religious movements and lays out the changes to the dictionary since the 2001 edition, while the main body of the dictionary consists of close to 600 cross-referenced entries on key figures, ideas, themes, and places related to various new religious movements. An index organizes the information in the dictionary, and a comprehensive bibliography leads the researcher to further sources.

The Men Who Invented Religion

Author: Jeffrey M Pike
Publisher: Brown Dog
ISBN: 1785451146
Size: 58.91 MB
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What is religion? Mark Twain said, "Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of." St. Augustine evaded giving an answer at all. Perhaps for the true believer it is the relation of human beings to God or the gods or to something they feel is sacred but which provides a context for life. From the Pharaoh Akhenaten in c.1320BC, religion has been a way to control the masses by making them believe in a future reward. Napoleon realised that all religions are man-made and have the benefit of keeping the poor from murdering the rich. Hitler and Stalin both used the Church cynically for their own personal benefit, sure that science would eventually destroy all religions. This book looks at the powerful men without any religious conviction themselves who had the greatest influence. It includes such figures as Alexander the Great and Cyrus of Persia, both Messiahs to the Jews, Constantine, the father of Christianity who remained a pagan until his deathbed and Mohammed who forgot his Jewish connexions and beliefs.

Religion Media And Social Change

Author: Kennet Granholm
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317804171
Size: 41.71 MB
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In an era of heightened globalization, macro-level transformations in the general socioeconomic and cultural makeup of modern societies have been studied in great depth. Yet little attention has been paid to the growing influence of media and mass-mediated popular culture on contemporary religious sensibilities, life, and practice. Religion, Media, and Social Change explores the correlation between the study of religion, media, and popular culture and broader sociological theorizing on religious change. Contributions devote serious attention to broadly-defined media including technologies, institutions, and social and cultural environments, as well as mass-mediated popular culture such as film, music, television, and computer games. This interdisciplinary collection addresses important theoretical and methodological questions by connecting the study of media and popular culture to current perspectives, approaches, and discussions in the broader sociological study of religion.

Invented Knowledge

Author: Ronald H. Fritze
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1861896743
Size: 62.37 MB
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This incredible exploration of the murky world of pseudo-history reveals the mix of proven facts, informed speculation, and pure fiction behind lost continents, ancient super-civilizations, and conspiratorial cover-ups—as well as the revisionist historical foundations of religions such as the Nation of Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Drawing on the best scholarship available, Ronald H. Fritze shows that in spite of strong, mainstream historical evidence to the contrary, many of these ideas have proved durable and gained widespread acceptance. As the examples in Invented Knowledge reveal, pseudo-historians capitalize on and exploit anomalies in evidence to support their claims, rather than examining the preponderance of research as a whole.