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By Gary M. Beckman

ISBN-10: 3447023104

ISBN-13: 9783447023108

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These groups were motivated by the belief that human beings, though born perfect, became warped by their existence in society, and particularly through its chief agent of socialization the nuclear family, an idea that dates back to Rousseau and the Age of Enlightenment and beyond. Initially, those who frequented HPM centres showed little concern for spiritual development in itself. But a change occurred, the reasons for which are a subject of debate. Many of those who were to eventually join such new religions as the Rajneesh movement were involved at first in the HPM, which, as already pointed out, conceived of human health and wholeness in natural terms and pursued what were largely natural ends.

It is this broader context of religious change, which covers the old as well as the new religions, as I have already stated, that has been adopted in this volume. For this reason each chapter contains not only an account of the rise of the NRMs and new forms of spirituality of a particular region, say South Asia (Chapter 10), but also an overview of change in mainstream or standard religion. Without the latter it would be impossible to identify even the main features of the former. References and select bibliography Anthony, Dick and Ecker, Bruce (1987) The Anthony Typology: A Framework for assessing Spiritual and Consciousness Groups’ in Dick Anthony, Bruce Ecker and Ken Wilber (eds) Spiritual Choices: The Problem of Recognising Authentic Paths to Inner Transformation, New York: Paragon, pp.

1994) ‘Why Strict Churches Are Strong’, American Journal of Sociology, 99(5), 1180–211. Inoue, N. ) (1991) New Religions: Contemporary Papers in Japanese Religions (2), Tokyo: Kokugakuin University, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics. H. Clarke and Jeffrey Somers (eds) Japanese New Religions in the West, Eastbourne: Japan Library, pp. 103–17. Lambert, Yves (2004) ‘A Turning Point in Religious Evolution in Europe’, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 19(1), 29–47. Martin, David (1990) Tongues of Fire, Oxford: Blackwell.

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Hittite birth rituals by Gary M. Beckman

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