The Sociocultural Significance of Modern New Religious Movements

Lorne L. Dawson

in The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195369649
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Sociocultural Significance of Modern New Religious Movements


This article criticizes approaches to new religious movements that view them in terms of reactions to secularization or in terms of certain other understandings of modernity. Instead, it argues that one should draw from more nuanced understandings of the modern world, particularly Anthony Giddens's analysis of modernity and globalization. Giddens is, however, overly simplistic in his portrayal of religion, and the article suggests how globalization theory might be modified to be applicable to the interpretation of contemporary new religions.

Keywords: religious movements; Anthony Giddens; modernity; globalization theory

Article.  13730 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Alternative Belief Systems

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