Chapter

Introduction

Susan J. Palmer

in The New Heretics of France

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735211
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918577 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735211.003.0001
Introduction

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This book is a case study of the “public management” of new religions in France since 1994. Based on firsthand field research, it explores the controversy and conflict surrounding some of France's most radical and visible religious minorities. These groups range from the well-known, international new religious movements (NRMs) such as Scientology and the Unification Church, to small, local spiritual groups native to France like Horus, Néo-Phare, Mandarom, and Les Pèlerins d'Arès, to missionary outposts or new branches of mainstream “oriental-import” or Asian spiritual traditions such as Ogyen Chogyam Rinpoche, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and Soka Gakkai. These have been grouped together and labeled as sectes, which translates into the word “sect” in English. The lives of spiritual seekers are depicted, with their esoteric communities, their experiences of discrimination and persecution, and their various responses, from survival strategies to protest movements.

Keywords: France; religious freedom; secte; new religious movements; religious minorities

Chapter.  2663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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