ARE NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS?
AbstractI have been complaining for some years about the isolation and insulation of the sociology of religion (Beckford 1985a; 1989a). It tends to operate with its own special vocabulary and problematics which are not shared with other sociological specialisms. As a result, sociologists of religion have made few attempts to understand religion by means of the theories and concepts which are applied to other social phenomena. This is why I am enthusiastic about trying to locate research on new religious movements (NRMs) in the context of current theorizing about new social movements (NSMs). There are many parallels between the two types of movement, so let’s see whether it’s worthwhile to explain them both in similar terms.
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