London School of Economics 19 April 2001 - 23 April 2001
|Field Visit: Swaminarayan Temple|
|5.00pm - 6.30pm||Plenary I: Welcome and Introduction with the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Doctor George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury|
Plenary I: 5pm - 6.30pm
Welcome and Introduction
Eileen Barker, London School of Economics, UK
Guest Speaker: The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Doctor George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury
|9.00am - 11.00am||Parallel Sessions 1|
|11.00am - 11.30am||Coffee|
|11.30am - 1.00pm||Plenary II: Religion and the Internet|
|1.00pm - 2.00pm||Lunch|
|2.00pm - 4.00pm||Field Visit: Freemasons Lodge and Library/Parallel Sessions 2|
|4.00pm - 4.30pm||Tea|
|4.30pm - 6.30pm||Parallel Session 3|
Parallel Session 1: Session A: 9am - 11am, Room A220
Conversion & Pluralism
|9.00am - 9.30am||Thomas Merton and the Globalisation of Religion: "Under these trees, not others"
Christopher Nugent, University of Kentucky, USA
Classic and contemporary, Merton illuminates both sides of the emergent "Spiritual Marketplace". Globalist incarnate, he was born "in the shadow of some French mountains on the borders of Spain", educated in France, Cambridge University, then Columbia University, eventually by the silence of the cloister of Gethsemani in the woods of Kentucky, he died in dialogue with Buddhism in Bangkok on the other side of the world. Accenting personal authenticity, willy-nilly at the expense of religious traditions, Merton has even been charged with critics for shaking the foundations of Christendom. As it were, Merton "laid the egg", the Beatles hatched it!
|9.30am - 10.00am||On the Ethical Challenge of Spiritual Diversity
Lloyd Steffen, Lehigh University, USA
Do contemporary spiritualities advance particular moral perspectives?
|The Religious Experimenter - A New Type of Religious Socialisation, Conversion and Deconversion
Heinz Streib, Universität Bielefeld, Germany
The spiritual supermarket situation seems to produce, or at least to nurture, specific attitudes and strategies in religious socialisation, affiliation and disaffiliation. This may be ascribed to the market situation itself, since the economic model implies specific rules of choice and value which supposedly have made religious socialisation, conversion and deconversion to depart from their meaning and function in the context of traditional religions. The more recent terminological preference - to speak of spirituality where we used to speak of religion - reinforces this change.
|10.30am - 11.00am||Spreading the Word and the Second Generation, or Vice Versa
Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist, London School of Economics, UK
Many of today's New Religious Movements, whether big or small, are likely to be global organisations. Depending on the group's organisation and structure, there can be big differences between the members living in 'the field', as missionaries for example, and members who live in urban headquarters. These differences, whether geographical, ideological or both, can have far reaching consequences on the second generation. These differences also raise many issues for the researcher. In my presentation I intend to outline some of these geographical/ideological differences and their consequences to different segments of the religious organisation, as well as possible effects on the second generation. Finally, I shall elaborate on the methodological questions this raises in my research.
Day 2: 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 1: Session B: 9am - 11am, Room 144
Roman Catholicism & Politics
|9.00am - 9.24am||Religions of Miracles and Contemporary Emergences
Anna Maria Turi, "Il Tempo", Rome, Italy
The catholic world has awaited forty years for the Papal revelation of the third secret of Fatima, suspecting that it might contain terrible news for humanity, including the end of the world by thermonuclear war. With the publication, during the Jubilee year 2000, of this mysterious revelation by Madonna to three Portuguese shepherds, the Church wanted to pacify souls. However, the comments that were raised in the interpretation of this message were not in accord and, on the other hand, many doubts remain concerning the integrity of the divulged message. The debate around Fatima is therefore still open and the millenarian anxiety raised by the far away miraculous events of the Portuguese sanctuary has not faded at all.
|The Catholic Semantic of the Landless Movement
Maria de Lourdes Beldi de Alcântara, University of São Paulo, Brazil
This work aims at analyzing the influence of the Theology of Freedom and the Landless Movement (MST) in Brazil. Through an interdisciplinary work we will demonstrate how the movement of the landless has an extremely Catholic language, Pilgrimage of the Land being its greatest manifestation against governmental acts. What does it mean? Would this be the route traced by the Theology of Freedom to oppose itself to the Vaticans aggression? Could we possibly still name it Catholicism of the people? Facing this questions, I intend to outline the influence of the Catholic Church in Brazil on the Landless Movement in Brazil.
|9.48am - 10.12am||Church and State in the Philippines - Ethical Considerations on Ecclesio-Political Involvement: A Philippine People-Power Case
Alan J. Delotavo, West Visayas State University, Philippines
The 1986 Philippine People Power Revolution could have not been successful without the active political role of the church. Since then, the issue in the Philippines is not the intervention of the state in the affairs of the church but, vice versa. In fact, the church has become a powerful political mass base, whose influence is greater than that of the government itself.
|10.12am - 10.36am||The Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador: Salvation vs. Liberation
Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, USA
Since the end of El Salvador's civil war in 1989, both Protestant pentecostalism and Catholic charismatic religion have grown rapidly in El Salvador, particularly among the urban poor in the nation's capital, San Salvador. Much of this growth has come at the expense of traditional Catholicism. In particular, a great many Salvadorans have defected from liberationist parishes (those which advocate and practice Liberation Theology) and parachurch organisations (such as CEBs) to join charismatic churches.
|10.36am - 11.00am||New Religious Phenomena and the Catholic Church in Hungary and Other Postcommunist Countries
István Kamarás, Veszprém University, Hungary
My paper is on the base of my empirical research in Hungary (in the framework of international Aufbruch research managed by P. Zulehner). I give picture about the religious market both in the period of the controlled religious freedom (1945-1989) and after the political changes, and about their presence in the society and their social impact. I investigate what do new religious phenomena offer to non-believers and even the believers of traditional and religions and who became followers.
Day 2: 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 1: Session C: 9am - 11am, Room A379
|The Commodification of Witchcraft
Douglas Ezzy, University of Tasmania, Australia
The modern Witchcraft movement began in small family-like groups. However, with increasing popularity, secular market forces have influenced both the relationships within which Witchcraft beliefs are transmitted, and the form and content of these beliefs. Three websites of prominent Australia Witches are analysed to identify the variations in the effects of commodification on Witchcraft. I argue that commodified Witchcraft is embedded in market based social relationships that no longer retain the sense of mutual obligation of Witchcraft external to the market. To varying degrees, commodified Witchcraft facilitates an ideology of consumption by attempting to manipulate people's decisions about their spiritual practices for the purpose of selling commodities such as books of spells and bottles of lotion. The websites of commodified Witchcraft play on people's sense of isolation and alienation, offering the hedonist consumption of commodities as solutions, substituting the purchase of commodities for engagement with personal self-discovery. These new forms of oppression need to be weighed against the freedom of individualism and new forms of spirituality facilitated by consumerism.
|Religious Pluralism, Globalisation & Gender
Shan Jayran, London University, UK
Both interfaith pluralism and feminisms necessarily address difference: simplistic commonality no longer suffices. But prioritising difference (religious diversity, gender, class, race, sexual orientation, disability, locality) destroys underlying solidarities, rendering us correspondingly atomised, therefore powerless.
|Can Religions be Assessed Objectively?
Frederic Lamond, Wernberg, Austria
There is a pragmatic test for the existence of one or more deities:
|10.30am - 11.00am||"Continental Drift": Differences in Practice and Identity in a Modern Neo-Pagan Religion
Shelley Rabinovitch, University of Ottawa, Canada
This paper will investigate the "continental drift", as the author terms the phenomenon, which has occurred since the 1970s between a sect of modern Neo-Pagans called "Gardnerians", in the UK and in the United States. Control of information, acknowledgment of the contributions of different pivotal individuals, and an overall difference in how the term "Wiccan" is used in both locations, will be investigated. Based on anthropological and ethnographic fieldwork, the discussion will conclude with the postulation that American Gardnerian Wiccans and British Gardnerian Wiccans may in fact, be as related as Anglicans and Roman Catholics, but they may no longer be the same religion at all.
Day 2: 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 1: Session D: 9am - 11am, Room A44
|Conscience Revolution : Our Times Challenge
Pierre Gohar, Voulon, France
Jan Van Rijckenborgh (1896 - 1968); founder of the Golden Rosy-Cross School, re-unified in the same thought current philosophy, science and religion. One of the major conclusions of his work is that our conscience state determines our vision of man, world and life. So, to modify our world vision, and re-unify the laws structuring our universe and life, we must not proceed towards a conscience evolution but towards a revolution of our conscience. That aknowledgement has already been expressed on the philosophical level by Shopenhauer in the XVIIIth century. The present theories and experiments of quanta physics result in a similar conclusion. But the stakes and difficulty of our times are to concretely apply that in our daily life. To manage that aim, the religion dimension comes to the fore. It enables to switch from the philosophical system to the scientifical and methodical experiment of that conscience transmutation. We shall discover all along that talk, through "The present day Gnosis" one of the major works of Jan van Rijckenborgh, how the coming of a new philosophy-religion-science unity can build itself into a true spirituality.
|9.24am - 9.48am||The Concept of Angels: from Early Christianism and Gnosticism to Post New Age
Sylvain Imbs, Paris, France
The concept of "Angels", though seemingly linked to the very beginnings of the christianity, was in fact introduced relatively late in Christian Churches. The French philosoph Voltaire describes this historical background in his Dictionary of religions. The cult for angels took another take-off with the new-age period and the so-called "angel-channelling". We show in our work that however two distinct concepts of angels have prevailed from Gnostics to post new age and neo-gnostic movements: on one hand the protective angels of Christianity, on the other hand the angel of temptation as described, for instance, in G. MEYRINK's novel. The concept of angels thus in our view overlaps christianity and reaches to a microcosmic interpretation of human being. Our presentation is based on several exemples of different "angelisms" in Christian, Gnostic and neo gnostic movements, new Age and occidental esoteric movement as Lectorium Rosicrucianum.
|9.48am - 10.12am||Spiritualism Today & Yesterday
Ciaran O'Keeffe, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Spiritualism has its origins in the spirit communications by the infamous Fox sisters of Hydesville, New York. In 1848 visitors besieged the sisters for communications with the spirit world, the word spread and within a few years there were hundreds of practicing mediums.
|10.15am - 10.30am||Gnosis and Regeneration
Jean-Claude Pascal, Mareil sur Mauldre, France
Essay on how Word and Light works in the two, human and divin, natures of man for a renewal of conscience and flesh. Interpretation of the Second Birth according Paracelsus' philosophy with help of Jan van Rijckenborgh's gnostic teaching of the Transfiguration. Description of the ontological change and the structural transformation that allow, and that occur during, the rebirth of man's divin soul.
|Changes in G. I. Gurdjieffs Teaching The Work
Sophia Wellbeloved, London, UK
Gurdjieff (1886?-1949) changed his teachings form to accord with contemporary interests: cosmological occultism and ballet in Russia c1912 and writing his texts in literary Paris of the 1920s-1930s. Thus change itself is part of the Gurdjieff tradition.
Day 2: 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 1: Session E: 9am - 11am, Room A550
Pluralism in Post-Communism 1
|9.00am - 9.30am||From Monoreligious to Religious Pluralism: the Case of Romania
Constantin Cuciuc, Academia Romana, Institutul de Sociologie, Romania
The 19th century was for the Balkans area the period of conqering its independence and forming the national states. The majority religions in these states have also declared themselves national. Orthodoxism has always been in a good relationship with the political power, relying on each other "like body and soul" (as Emperor Justinian said).
|9.30am - 10.00am||New Religions in Ru.net
Boris Falikov, Center of Religious Studies at the Russian State University of Humanities, Russia
New religious movements in Russia were ahead of traditional religions in discovering Internet. When some of them came from the West after Perestroika they possessed all the necessary expertise to start their sites in Russia. New religions of Russian origin followed the suit. Then the anticultist sites appeared and only after it traditional religions of Russia slowly accepted this innovation.
|10.00am - 10.30am||The Russian Orthodox Church and NRMs: reciprocal cultural prejudices
Annika Hvithamar, Institute for the History of Religion, Department of the Sociology of Religion, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
"This paper will discuss the conflicts between the Russian Orthodox Church and the new religious movements as a culture-meeting, where the great tradition - the global, pluralistic, Western culture - meets the small tradition - the national Russian one.
|The Familiarity of Different Religions in Eastern-Central Europe
Peter Torok, University of Toronto, Canada
At the end of 1997, the Aufbruch international project surveyed the familiarity of different religions in ten countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, GDR, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine) formerly under Soviet occupation. The results are presented by means of a GIS (geographic information system) program. The analysis pays special attention to the familiarity of new religious movements in these countries. In the Hungarian case, the data on the familiarity of certain new religious movements is supplemented and compared with the populations support of these religions, which is measured by the amount of income tax channeled to the churches.
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Plenary II: 11.30am - 1pm, Old Theatre
Religion on the Internet
|11.30am - 11.40am||Introduction to Researching Religion in Cyberspace
Jeffrey K. Hadden, University of Virginia, USA
|11.40am - 12.05pm||Cyberspace and Religious Life: Conceptualizing the Concerns and Consequences
Lorne Dawson, University of Waterloo, Canada
The Internet presents a new multi-media arena of performance for the negotiation, expression, and transformation of our conceptions of religious and spiritual identity, community, and authority. The initial wave of utopian and dystopian analyses of the Internet are giving way to a burgeoning body of social scientific research into computer-mediated communication. The study of religion on the Internet needs to be situated in an understanding of the issues raised by the larger sociology of the Internet. This paper applies the insights gained from investigations of the impact of the Internet on individuals sense of identity and community to the study of the possible consequences of the Internet for the future of religion. Is there a synergistic link between the life in late modern society, the Internet, and contemporary shifts in religious sensibilities in North America and Western Europe?
|Exploring Islam in Cyberspace
Gary Bunt, University of Wales, Lampeter, UK
|12.35pm - 1.00pm||From Parchment to Pixels: The Christian Countercult on the Internet
Douglas E. Cowan, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 2: Session A: 2pm - 4pm, Room A220
New Movements in the Hindu Tradition.
|The Emergence and Evolution of the Hare Krishna Movement in Quebec
Adèle Brodeur, Interim director, C.I.N.R. (Centre dInformation sur les Nouvelles Religions) Montréal, Canada
This paper will present the emergence of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, in the province of Quebec in 1968. It will give an account of the evolution of this new religion from a contercultural movement into a recognized vaishnavite branch of the hindu tradition by the local Indian community. This evolution will first focus on the history of ISKCON in Quebec from 1968 when it opened its first center in Montreal to 1982, when ISKCON had the greatest number of devotees of Occidental origin and could be considered at the height of its countercultural period.
|2.24pm - 2.48pm||New Religious Movements in Slovenia: The Case of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
Ale_ Crnic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The paper will briefly present the general religious situation in Slovenia.
|2.48pm - 3.12pm||Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Movement in Latvia on the Eve of the New Millenium
Nikandrs Gills, University of Latvia, Latvia
Paper will review the development of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba movement from early 1970s till nowadays. Intriguing is the fact that in the early years movement ideas were accepted by and were popular among in the pool of local intellectuals, especially among poets and artists like R. Rozite, M. Grotuse, A.Eka, I.Ziedonis, L.Postaza, M.Bendrupe, S.Sverna, etc. At the beginning of the 1980s, when it became possible to take the literature from abroad, several groups were formed, in which the literature was studied and translated. Translations were secretly multiplied and distributed. But now, for example, the literature that originates from Sathya Sai Organisation Book Centre in London is being freely distributed and translated into Latvian.
|3.12pm - 3.36pm||The Church and the Gurus
Silja Joneleit-Oesch, University of Heidelberg, Germany
The Evangelische Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen, Berlin, (EZW; protestant central institution for questions on world views) is an institution of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD, the protestant church in Germany) and in charge of the observation, evaluation and information of new religious movements (NRM) and of other non-christian religions. Today the EZW covers the fields of activity of interreligious dialogue, the service of information on religion and christian theological apologetics.
|3.36pm - 4.00pm||Authenticity and Compromise: The Priests of the Shri Lakshmi Temple, Ashland, MA, USA
Michael Linderman, Harvard Divinity School, USA
This paper explores the effects of the tension between traditional authenticity and practical compromise manifest in the experiences of the Brahman priests of the Shri Lakshmi Temple in Ashland, Massachusetts.
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 2: Session B: 2pm - 4pm, Room A144
|In the Aftermath of the Unthinkable: Responses to the Loss of Constitutional Protection for Religious Pluralism in the United States
David Ball, Denison University, USA
Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court responded to the reality of religious pluralism in the U.S. by announcing that, in a "cosmopolitan nation made up of people of almost every conceivable religious preference,
we cannot afford the luxury" of thorough constitutional protection for religious liberty. This meant "leaving accommodation [of free exercise rights] to the political process," which "will place at a relative disadvantage those religious practices that are not widely engaged in," but the Court concluded that this is an "unavoidable consequence of democratic government."
|2.24pm - 2.48pm||New State Policy Towards Minority Religious Groups During the Years of the Law of 1997. Interference of Secret Services and Law Enforcement Agencies in Religious Issues
Mikhail Kouzmitchev, Freedom of Conscience Society, Moscow, Russia
The paper is dedicated to the problems that religious organizations met during the years of the years of the 1997 law. The provisions of the Law regarding the re-registration of already existed and registered religious organizations and groups have only one aim - to eliminate religious confessions that are not acceptable from the point of view of the State and Russian Orthodox Church. The first target of this policy is so called "new-religions".
|2.48pm - 3.12pm||Controversies about the Church of Scientology in Russia. Legal Methods of Defence of the Right for Freedom of Religion
Galina Krylova, Moscow, Russia
|3.12pm - 3.36pm||Societal Responses To Religious Diversity And Pluralism In Nagorno-Karabakh
Karen Ohanjanyan, Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of "Helsinki Initiative-92", Armenia
The collaps of the USSR caused not only the creation of the New Independent States completely changed the geopolitical processes in the world but also became the beginning of the new religions absorption in the former atheistic sphere.The traditional religions that arose from the "perestroika and glastnost" in fact had the same starting level with the new religions appearing on the whole postsoviet field. More flexible-young, new religions, quickly spread in the society became the serious reason for the traditional religions more often represented as state, national religion.Nagorno-Karabakh in its tern became the for post of the national movements of the former USSR became the arena of widely appearing sects and teaching. Armenian Apostolic Church, having the centuties traditions and having good relationship with the state(According to the laws of the NKR the Armenian Apostolic Church on the territory of the Nkr is to be recognized as state)became to lose its position on the face of "aggressive" and attractive appearing of the new religions. Refusal from the army service and another reasons of the new religion for example such as The Witnesses of Yehova in the condition of war and another social conditions attracted thou- sands of people. Arests and the total libel in the mass media and another threats of the authorities not only decreased the attractiveness of the sects and another religions but also a new division was born in the society; the untrust to the Armenian Apostolic Church which together with the authorities created in the society the period like in the times of inquisition. The tension between the society preaching the different religious flows and the authorities was for a long time critical. The most important role in the settlement oh the conflict between the authorities of the NKR and the representatives of the different religious sects played the NK Committee" Helsinki Initiative- 92" being the vanguard chain of the civil society. This Committee supports the diversity of the religious representations in NK and works out in the spiritual supermarket the possibilities of seeking the TRUTH.
|3.36pm - 3.55pm||Children's Right to Religious Freedom in International Law
Anat Scolnicov, London School of Economics, UK
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 2: Session C: 2pm - 4pm
|I am the Goddess - The Construction of Religious Identity in the Context of Contemporary Feminist Spirituality
Edith Franke, University of Hanover, Germany
The new attractiveness of goddesses and the development of a feminist religious subculture in western societies (either within or outside of the christian tradition) may be described as a characteristic expression of present day religious transformations. For women with feminist attitudes, raised in a christian environment, the transformations in social roles as well as self-assessment are closely connected with transformations in religious behaviour and the acceptance of images of the divine.
|2.30pm - 3.00pm||Organic Religion; the changing nature of Modern Pagan Witchcraft
Melissa Harrington, Kings College, London, UK
Wicca is at the forefront of the rise in Neo-Pagan religion that started in the latter years of the last millennium. It is a spiritual tradition that is finding increasing popularity in Europe and America; its adherents claim that it has ancient roots but is a path that is particularly suited to the religious needs of late modern/post modern society. This paper explores the changing image and identity of Wicca and Wiccans, and the reactions and adaptations of its practitioners as it has grown and diversified during the last fifty years. The paper discusses the emergence of international and national differences in the theory and practice of Wicca and related paths, and the relevance that cultural variables within the secular world have to these changes. Finally it examines how this ongoing organic process of constant revision and redefinition of religious faith and tradition affects the identity formation of practitioners of this "Modern Pagan Witchcraft", and in turn, how this affects the public face of this increasingly popular religion.
|3.00pm - 3.30pm||Neopaganism and the New Age
Reender Kranenborg, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Neopaganism is always connected with New Age, mostly seen as a part of New Age. The question is: is this a right or wrong vision? I will analyse what the differences between New Age and Neopaganism are. Also I will look at the aspects they have in common. Then will be studied the history and origin of both the movements, and compared with each other.
|3.30pm - 4.00pm||Selling Nature in the Spiritual Supermarket
Michael York, Bath Spa University College, UK
This paper seeks to outline the civilisation debate formulated by Freud (Civilization and its Discontents) and delineate the religious consumer market as a forum of competing gnostic, pagan and mainstream notational commodities. Does nature, like religion or religions, become one more item on offer? Or, does the question of a viable terrestrial nature engender a refutation of the consumer market? Within the context of globalisation, the electronic communication/information age, dwindling natural resources and industrial/environmental pollution, this paper shall explore the reasons behind the growth of spiritualities that centralise the tangible and natural.
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 2: Session D: 2pm - 4pm, Room A44
|2.00pm - 2.24pm||Disputed Space for Beloved Goddesses: Hindu Temples, Conflicts and Religious Pluralism in Germany
Martin Baumann, University of Hanover, Germany
The plurality of religions in Germany consists of a wide spectrum of old and new religions. Migrant workers and refugees have additionally diversified the religious landscape by establishing mosques and temples. These settlement processes have been accompanied by social conflicts in terms of public disputes on the legitimacy to establish such so-called "foreign" religions in Germany. The paper will present the case study of establishing a Tamil temple for the Hindu Goddess Sri Kamakshi in Northern Germany in the mid-1990s. Based on this example the paper shall analyse the broader socio-political issue of a "new" religion aiming to acquire access to and representation in the public domain. It shall be argued that dispite a stated equal treatment of non-Christian traditions, an unspoken hierachy of legitimacy to claim space in the public domain comes to the fore in such conflicts.
|2.24pm - 2.48pm||Dragon Rouge - A Spiritual Organisation in Opposition to the Society and the Church
Kennet Granholm, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
Dragon Rouge is a Swedish-based, fairly young spiritual organisation, which is primarily occupied with magical practice. The organisation utilises a dark symbolism and has thus been identified as a satanic organisation, by researchers as well as the public. Dragon Rouge has attracted a great deal of media attention and consequently stirred up a lot of controversy, despite the relatively small number of members it engages.
|The different faces of religious freedom: the French and American conflictual conception of religion in public space
Benjamin-Hugo LeBlanc, Sorbonne, France
The current globalization of religion brings a new challenge for western democracies. Transnational new religious movements, more than any traditional faith, clearly illustrate such a 'deterritorialization', and the juridical - or cultural- conflicts it may raise within - or between - sovereign States. As a case study, this paper proposes an analysis of the ongoing diplomatic argument between France/Germany and the United States, including the controversy surrounding the Department of State International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and its two reports; the official reactions from the French Interministerial Mission to Fight Cults; and the identification of major historical and cultural factors which have shaped, in these respective countries, much different policies regarding religious pluralism in the public space.
|3.12pm - 3.36pm||The Forensics of Sacrifice: Interpreting Blood Rituals at Crime Scenes
Dawn Perlmutter, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, USA
Interpreting blood rituals at crime scenes not only entails all the definitional, conceptual and legal issues intrinsic to New Religious Movements but also posits it's own unique problems. In this paper it will be argued that one of the most revealing aspects of an occult crime is the ritual use of blood. Building on that hypothesis I will introduce a system of identification based on blood rituals that establishes a 'Forensics of Sacrifice'. The primary goal of this typology is to identify the religion, rites, and intent of worshipper based on symbolic and ritual information found at crime scenes. Other objectives include understanding the various nature of sacrifice, avoiding misidentification and persecution of alternative religions, and correctly distinguishing legal from illegal activities. This knowledge will have applications for inquiries, investigations and legal proceedings into cases entailing unfamiliar ritual uses of blood.
|3.36pm - 4.00pm||The Role of Intermediate Groups in NRM-State Conflicts
Stuart A. Wright, Lamar University, Texas, USA
While rare, the propensity toward collective religious violence may be seen as a product of polarization. Polarization refers to a condition exhibiting opposite tendencies relative to a body or system. In a dispute or conflict involving a new religious movement (NRM) and the state, the contrasting claims of authority are accentuated. (charismatic vs. rational legal). Agents of the state often become allied with ideological proponents (anticult organizations, apostates, media) who seek to control "cults" and make subversionist claims against NRMs, alleging a threat to the social order. Polarization increases in direct proportion to the degree that opposing parties believe their core identity and existence is being subverted. Extreme polarization increases the risk of violence. However, intermediate groups-human rights organizations, civil liberties groups, scholars, educational/research organizations-appear to play a critical role in reducing polarization and minimizing risks of violence. Research suggests intermediate groups function to counteract exclusive control over information about "cults," giving authorities a more balanced view of NRMs and making aggressive state actions (police raids, sweeps, assaults) less likely. Intermediate groups also serve as institutional allies for disenfranchised religions, reassuring NRMs that they will get a fair hearing in the dispute settlement process, further reducing the likelihood of reactionary violence (mass suicides, armed standoffs).
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 2: Session E: 2pm - 4pm, Room A550
Pluralism in Post-Communism 2
|Religion in the Postcommunist Epoch
Maria Marczewska-Rytko, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland
The proces of transformation initiated in Central-East Europe led to a new view of religion. The increased importance of the Churches met with popular support. This can be explained as a reaction to the political persecution of religion in the period of "real socialism" and as a search for support in the changing reality. Hence, religion, often regardless of the will and attitude of the Church hierarchy, is becoming a part of political games and, in this way, an element of political life. In the rising social and political conflicts, religion is becoming an important element. We can observe the rising tide of fundamentalism in different civilisational and cultural areas. Without underestimating the significance of those tendencies, the selectivity of religious beliefs, regardless of the intensity of the declard faith, must be pointed out. There is also a clear discrepancy between the declared faith and the declared trust in the Roman Catholic Church as an institution. Hence we can observe such problems: the taking over of the functions of religion by secular organisations; the decay of various form of religiousness; the discrepancy between the Church as an institution and themillions of believers; the increase in the number of believers in the so-called new religions; the process of secularisation.
|2.30pm - 3.00pm||New Religious Movements in Post-Communist Society
Dimitrina Merdjanova, Silistra, Bulgaria
The NRMs in Eastern Europe are not an isolated phenomenon, which might be investigated apart from the overall situation of society; they are to be seen as a focus reflecting a variety of problems, currents and controversies, often of very different backgrounds. They are a conflict-engendering field but in a restricted sense; much more are they to be conceptualised as indicators of societal difficulties and tensions which already exist or are in the process of emerging. They might be discussed from different perspectives: sociological, historical, psychological, theological, etc. The pre-eminently cultural-critical approach of this paper (though other approaches to the discussion of particular issues are also to be applied) places NRMs in the conceptual and socio-political framework of the right to religious liberty in its interconnectedness and interrelatedness to cultural-religious pluralism, as long as these two principles are among the conditions indispensable for the (re)construction of the civil society and real democratisation.
|3.00pm - 3.30pm||New Religions in the New Russia: Anti-Cultism Revisited
Marat Shterin, London School of Economics, UK
Anti-sectarianism has a useful political function in Russian society that lacks shared elements of national identity but has a tradition of identifying itself negatively, through contrast with the West and the enemy within. Its appeal also stems from the general lack of social experience in negotiating different interests in a modern society which has a multitude of legitimate ways of social expression, be this in religion, politics, or the economy. The emergence of a diversity of new religious phenomena requires a language to describe, concepts to interpret, and means to handle it. Some aspects of the present treatment of NRMs are the results of Russias exposure to Western "cult controversies." It can be argued that the anti-cult concepts tend to encourage a restrictive approach to the issue of the legitimacy of religious expression and hinder pluralistic accommodation.
|3.30pm - 4.00pm||New Religious Movements and Traditional Churches in Russia
Tatiana Tomaeva, Russian Independent Institute for National and Social Issues, Russia
"Since the time new religious movements emerged and established themselves in the post-Soviet Russia, we have been witnesses to the formation of the new value discourse. Initially, both reinstalling traditional Churches, primarily, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the NRM used more or less similar value discourse directed against the Soviet/atheistic/secular set of values. As time went on the situation changed; the traditional churches felt a strong rival in the NRM's - their value discourses turned towards each other, strongly criticizing each other's set of worldviews and moral practices".
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 3: Session A: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A220
|Revenge of the Machines: About Modernity, (New) Technology and Animism
Stef Aupers, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The classical assumption that scientific and technological progress will ultimately result in a rational, secular and disenchanted society, is problematized by sociologists who write about the emergence of new forms of spirituality in contemporary society. Recently, there is more and more evidence that the rise and application of new information technology also directly stimulates the mystical, magical and religious imagination. Various computer specialists, who are supposed to be the pioneers of secularization, are actively engaged in (semi)religious speculations about our digital environment.
|5.00pm - 5.30pm||New Ways of "Doing" Religion: Cyberspace as Sacred Space
Liselotte Frisk, Dalarna University, Sweden
Internet challenges in several ways both the traditional concept of religion and the traditional ways of studying religion. Internet is both a tool for different religions to reach out globally - differing from ordinary information pamphlets and books in possibility of infinite size; possibility of using other media than simple text; the hypertext perspective demanding active interaction and choice - and a completely new religious environment. Internet also challenges the concept of social community, creating new global social environments not necessarily having a location at a specific place. For some contemporary new religious communities, the net is used as the primary source of community.
|5.30pm - 6.00pm||Spiritual Schizophrenia? On Cyber-Sorcery, Magical Matrices & Digital Deities
Dave Green, The University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
An emergent field of enquiry within both religious and cultural studies regards the uses and abuses of spirituality on the internet. The Net has become the epitome of the spiritual supermarket becoming a venue, as it were, of sacred cyber-consumption. Magical practitioners of all shades, particularly pagans, have become avid users of the net, developing in the process new forms of digital deity and democracy. Indeed it could be argued that paganisms as increasingly global spiritualities have co-evolved with the global communications revolution. Technoshamanism in particular has hybridized a plurality of indigenous spiritual traditions to create a rave religiosity which combines native shamanic techniques for the alteration of consciousness, globalized and digitized trance-dance, and the use of the internet as an extension of both consciousness and the realms of spirit. As befits such a syncretic spiritual phenomenon, this paper endeavours to examine the practices and sacred spaces of technoshamanism, using a theoretical bricolage culled from the work of Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Serres and Haraway. In particular, using a Deleuzean perspective, I will discuss shamanic selfhood as spiritual schizophrenia and the implications this has for the spiritual supermarkets of the future.
|6.00pm - 6.30pm||Cyberritual: Multi-Vocal Evolutions and Developments of Religious Practice
Anastasia Karaflogka, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
Moving rapidly from a world of atoms to a world of bits it seems that making the unimaginable imaginable and the imaginable real is in the process of becoming todays reality with unprecedented results not only for the human body but for the human consciousness as well.
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 3: Session B: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room 144
|4.30pm - 5.00pm||Pentecostal and Orthodox Millenarian Eschatology in Contemporary Greece
Orestis Lindermayer, University of the Aegean, Greece
In this essay I shall compare classic (Protestant) Pentecostal pre-millenial ideology with "traditional" Eastern Orthodox eschatology of the last ten centuries in the Greek-speaking world.
|5.00pm - 5.30pm||Quebec Apocalypse: "les Sectes", Sovereignty and the New Religious Ferment
Susan Palmer, Dawson College, Montreal, Canada
This paper describes some of Quebec's indigenous apocalptic religions that have proliferated since the "Quiet Revolution" and Vatican II. It is proposed that Quebec possesses and "apocalyptic" culture quite distinct from the rest of Canada, and that its NRMs emerge out of an apocalptic milieu where radical revolutionary politics and occult spirituality converge. Quebec's NRMs echo the impulse to withdraw and turn inward in a quest to develope an unique identity found in the Separatist and Sovereignty movements. Unlike anglophone NRMs, thease "sectes" tend to be radically anti or pro-Catholic, they reject American mass culture and embrace the culture of Old France. The historical roots of these groups will be described in the context of Quebec's "civil religion".
|Apocalypse in Africa - An Update on the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments after a Second Travel to Uganda in 2001
Jean-Francois Mayer, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 3: Session C: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A379
New Age 1
|The Summoning of Happiness: the Tragic Dimension of the New Age Healing Rituals
Leila Amaral, CPS - UFJF (Centre for Social Research), Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil
The aim of this paper is to present the relationship between healing and the New Age Spirituality. Through the interpretation of some rituals, the so-called workshops, I intend to develop the following argument: entertainment and pain are constitutive elements of this spirituality, because they come about as efficient and provoking conditions for the required spiritual transformation. Thus, I must call the attention towards two groups of ethical elements emerged from the rituals: a) the ones which indicate refusal of that logic of power through which relationships between loss and gain, oppression and resistance are gathered and b) those related to playing. Both groups elapse from changeable situations experienced by the participants. Situations that are creative-destructive, once they offer ritual means by which one, under suffering, pain or decadent stages of ones life, could glance the opportunity to summon ones happiness.
|5.00pm - 5.30pm||The New 'Visual' Religions: the Power of Ritual and Images
Charlotte Hardman, University of Newcastle, UK
The aim of this paper is to look at how transformations of the self and the key to some new religions has to do with performance and images that generate whole new realities as sources of knowledge about the world, about relationships, the spiritual and individual energies. The force of ritual has often been interpretated in terms of changes in symbolic meaning. In this paper I want to show that what is important for individuals in these new movements is not simply changes in symbolic meaning but the opening up and construction of new realities, that is imaginal and interactive 'websites' of the mind, which, of course, for some are spiritual realities. The paper will focus on Western shamanism, but will also refer to paganism, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and psychosynthesis.
|5.30pm - 6.00pm||Publishing the New Age: Religion and Spirituality in the Media
Elizabeth Puttick, London, UK
Is the New Age a publishing phenomenon? Despite predictions of doom, books are maintaining their status as the foremost purveyors of religious ideas. Publishers are situated midway between the grass roots where new ideas are generated and the authority of academia. They are gatekeepers, with extensive powers in deciding and shaping what gets published. While academics draw up analytical boundaries, publishers blur them, operating in line with the more anarchic demands of market forces.
|6.00pm - 6.30pm||Children of the New Age: the Evangelical Roots of the Findhorn Community
Steven J. Sutcliffe, University of Sunderland, UK
This paper will present a case study of a group of spiritual seekers who gathered around Sheena Govan (1912-67), youngest daughter of John Govan, Victorian founder of a Scots evangelical Christian movement, the Faith Mission. Key figures in this small group in the 1950s were an English couple, Peter and Eileen Caddy, and a Canadian, Dorothy Maclean, who duly settled at the Findhorn Bay Caravan Park on the Moray Firth, north-east Scotland, in 1962. Here they continued their interests in divine guidance and popular eschatology, strongly influenced by Sheena Govan's unorthodox take on the Faith Mission's evangelical praxis.
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 3: Session D: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A44
|Factors influencing social perception of controversial religious minorities
Tadeusz Doktór, Institute of Applied Social Sciences, Warsaw University, Poland
Negative stereotyping and discriminatory attitudes towards controversial religious minorities were studied in a Polish national representative sample. Results reveal high degree of negative stereotyping and prejudices against certain groups often called 'sects'. Observations are interpreted in terms of theories of cognitive autocategorisation, dogmatic/ authoritarian personality and diabolic causation scheme.
|5.00pm - 5.30pm||Mainstream Religion, Mainstream Culture: Church, Society and New Religious Movements in Finland
Titus Hjelm, University of Helsinki, Finland
One of the problematic issues in the sociology of religion has been tension between new religious movements and society, including established religion. In the Nordic countries, where the Evangelic Lutheran church is the largest denomination, a number of new religious movements have emerged since the 1970's. In spite of this fact, there have only been few studies about the specific situation where Lutheran religion and mainstream culture influenced by Lutheran ideals meet new religious movements. This paper seeks to illustrate how the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Finland has reacted to the emergence of new religious movements and how the image of these movements is constructed in public discussion, notably in the media. In order to demonstrate this, the paper examines the discourses of the representatives of the Lutheran church and the media. The paper closes by suggesting that the Lutheran framework influences public discourse strongly. The analysis also employs the concept of "religionization" in explaining the perceivable homogeneity of media discourse.
|5.30pm - 6.00pm||Polish governmental report: the embodiment of the anti-cult propaganda
Agnieszka Koscianska, Warsaw University, Poland
In August 2000 Polish Ministry of Internal Affair published the report about activity of the sects. The first part of the report presents the definition of the sect and the proposition of some kind of typology and structure of the sects. The second part is entitled Sects as the Destructive Groups. The report does not include the black list of sects. However, the definition is constructed in such way that every organization can be freely called sect. As I made fieldwork among anti-cult organizations and I collected anti-cultic articles I can easily find whole typologies and opinions taken straight from anti-cultic leaflets and books which I presented in my paper in Riga. In my paper I would like to present the main theses of the report in context of my research in anti-cult movements.
|5.45pm - 6.00pm||French Legislation and Religious Freedom
Richard Lee, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
In June 2000 the French legislature unveiled proposed new laws that would severely restrict the freedoms of NRMs in France. These laws make it an offence to "mentally manipulate" people and give the state power to dissolve religious groups and imprison and fine members found to be "creating a state of mental or physical dependence" among its members.
Day 2, 20 April 2001
Parallel Session 3: Session E: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A 550
|Constructions of Religious Identity. The Case of Second Generation Muslim Women in Germany
Gritt Klinkhammer, University of Marburg,Germany
The qualitative-empirical research, which the lecture is based on, examined the thesis, that the islamic constructions of religious identity of Sunni-Turkish daughters grown-up in Germany are influenced by structures of modern secular society. This will be shown by three types: firstly a "traditionalizing" islamic way of life, keeping rituals and norms binded to the family; secondly an exklusivistic islamic way of life, aiming at islamization of all spheres of life and thirdly an "universalizing" islamic way of life, aiming at a general ethical and spiritual support for everyday life.
|5.00pm - 5.30pm||To Be Muslim in Post-Soviet Russia: New Ways and New Identities
Guzel Sabirova, Scientific Research Centre "Region", Russia
Configurations of the Muslim identity as such with territorial, kinship groups and ethnic ones diversifies the patterns of involvement and conversion into Islam. Individual religiosity, regional religious patterns and official religion are getting more diverged and enclavised. A vivid discussion by some clergymen, intelligentsia and religiously active persons on the proportion between ritual and moral components makes less chances a uniform Islamic identity to be crystallised. On the other hand, ethnic and religious enclavisation of the Muslim peoples has been keeping the Muslim ritual practices in Soviet Russia and makes stronger Muslim identities in the post-Soviet crisis situation. Both republics - Tatarstan and Daghestan are characterised by the absence of generally accepted criteria of religiosity, and the level of religiosity varies from a superficial, instrumental attitude to religion to fanatical belief and observance of all rituals and ceremonies. The presentation is written after the project funded by the ESRC (Award no. R000236628, March 1997-September 1999) under the direction of Dr Hilary Pilkington at CREES, the University of Birmingham. The fieldwork was carried out by the Interdisciplinary Research Centre Region based at Ulyanovsk State University under the direction of Dr Elena Omelchenko in Tatarstan and Daghestan.
|5.30pm - 6.00pm||Globalization and the Influence of Black Religio-nationalist movement in Black Diaspora: The case of the Nation of Islam in the UK.
Nuri Tinaz, University of Warwick, UK
The presence and potential impacts of the Nation of Islam in Britain (hereafter referred to as NOI) as a global ethno-religious movement were little known to the mainline British public until extensive media coverage in the 1990s. This was prompted mainly by the turmoil surrounding the Steven Lawrence Inquiry in Summer 1998, and the public Rallies and Marches organised and hosted by the NOI in Britain and USA. The NOIs influence and its objectives and teachings, however, have been very familiar in "social" (Balch & Taylor, 1977) and "cultic" (Campbell, 1972) milieus, that is, towns and neighbourhoods where African and Caribbean diasporas are densely populated in Britain. Even that influence can be traced back to the mid-1960s when Malcolm X, having defected from the NOI in USA, visited Britain twice seeking to arouse and channalise the Black nationalist sentiments in Britain and France. The most salient and interesting point about the movement is how the NOIs religious, racial and political teachings appeal to Afro-Caribbeans who had not gone through historical difficulties, namely slavery, segregation, racism and socio-economic inequalities like their counterparts in the USA. In other words, how the NOI globally spreads and grows its influence beyond the border of the USA in geographical areas such as the Caribbean, Canada, West Africa and in Western Europe, particularly, in Britain and, to some extent, France.
|6.00pm - 6.30pm||Religious Tolerance: Islamic Perspective
Khalid Zaheer, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan
|Plenary III: Former Members and Current Members of Some Religions: Comparative Perspectives|
|11.30am - 1.30pm||Parallel Session 4|
|1.30pm - 2.30pm||Lunch|
|Plenary IV: Minority Faiths and the Law|
|4.00pm - 4.30pm||Tea|
|4.30pm - 6.30pm||Parallel Session 5|
|7.30pm - 10.30pm||Banquet with Professor Emeritus Bryan Wilson, All Souls College, Oxford|
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Plenary III: 9.30am - 11am
Members and Former Members of Some Religions: Comparative Perspectives
|Colin Slee (Member of Church of England)|
|9.45am - 10.00am||David V. Barrett (Former member of Church of England)|
|10.00am - 10.15am||Abi Freeman (Member of The Family)|
|10.15am - 10.30am||Mark Ericsson (Former member of The Family)|
|10.30am - 10.45am||Robin Marsh (Member of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification)|
|Richard Barlow (Former member of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification)|
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 4: Session A: 11.30am -1.30pm, Room A220
|Organisations for Anti-Cult Movements in Japan
Nanako Tamaki, Center for Information on Religion, Japan
After the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system by the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult, there has been an increase in activities aiming to prevent individuals from becoming involved in and to help others to get out of cult groups, as well as the aid and counseling of former cult members and their families. In addition to this, the Japanese government has recently been preparing to establish a research group for the psychiatric care and treatment of former cult members. This presentation reports on such activities in contemporary Japan. The Center for Information on Religion has collected various topics on religion and spirituality, from newspapers and magazines published in Japan. This presentation is based on the data.
|The Culture of Recovery as Implicit Religion
Kenta Kasai, Joetsu University of Education, Japan
My paper is to analyze the function and then consider the historical significance of the Culture of Recovery. Recently there appear many kind of self-help/support groups since the emergence of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. Though they are secular association, there are some that makes the members feel deep relief ("recovery") more than that of secular one. Some missionaries even adopt group activities like them for the organization of their churches. First we see that the identities as "imperfect" shared by members are the key to understand the function of relieving. Secondly I consider its historical significance in describing the fact that it enables people inside and even outside the group to open dialog about their faults being "imperfect."
|Spiritual Quests in Contemporary Japanese Writers after the Aum Affair: Creative Responses by Õe Kenzaburõ and Murakami Haruki
Michiaki Okuyama, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Japan
Violent attacks against Japanese society by a new religious group, Aum Shinrikyõ, have shaken not only people in general but also intellectuals, including novelists. Some novelists have responded to the Aum Affair in their own ways, and among them two cases deserve special attention. First, Õe Kenzaburõ, who coincidentally published from 1993 to 1995 a novel that features an imaginary religious community, proceeded to produce another novel on the theme of an apostate religious leader. Second, Murakami Haruki attempted to approach the affair by interviewing the victims of the Aum gas attack, as well as current and former Aum believers. Murakami published his interviews in 1997 and 1998. My essay will review these responses to the affair and consider the spiritual dimensions of these writers.
|Shinnyo-en as a Whole: its Buddhist tradition and newness
Keishin Inaba, King's College, University of London, UK
Focusing on its Buddhist tradition and newness, this paper explores sociologically a Buddhist order, Shinnyo-en. Shinnyo-en was founded in Japan in 1936 by Shinjo Ito, who underwent training and took vows at Daigoji, the head monastery of the Daigo school of Shingon esoteric Buddhism, and subsequently attained the qualifications to become a successor of both the lay and monastic Shingon Dharma-streams, gaining the title of Great Acharya (great religious master). Having the traditional Law Stream as the main current and upholding the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Shinnyo-en extends to various countries and there are now about 800,0000 followers practising the teaching. It is expected that this paper will provide an overall view of Shinnyo-en and will pave the way for elucidating its Buddhist tradition and newness.
|1.06pm - 1.30pm||Shinnyo-en in Italy
PierLuigi Zoccatelli, CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), Italy
Shinnyo-en is a Buddhist order in the Shingon esoteric Buddhism lineage that is based on the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, considered as the last and ultimate teachings left by Gautama Buddha at the end of his life. Shinnyo-en was founded in Japan during 1936 by Shinjo Ito (1906-1989) and his wife Tomoji Ito (1912-1967), known also to their followers as Kyoshu-sama and Shojuin-sama, respectively. Today, there are some 800,000 members practicing throughout the world and Shinnyo-en has expanded to the point where places of worship have been established in the United States, Europe, and Asia. From the head temple in Japan, Shinnyo-en is led since 1989 by Shinso Ito (born on 25 April 1942 - daughter of the founder), known also as Keishu-sama to followers, and who is considered to have succeeded to Shinjo Ito in both form and spirit. This paper deals in particular with the presence of Shinnyo-en in Italy, from an historical and sociological perspectives. Shinnyo-en is active in Italy with some 500 members - of which some 200 are Italians -, and spread his activities and teachings in cities like Trieste, Firenze, Roma, and Napoli. However, the Italian headquarter is located in Milan, where the Head of Shinnyo-en (Shinso Ito) has dedicated the temple on 13 November 1990 (the temple was officially relocated and dedicated, once again by Shinso Ito, on 10 October 1999).
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 4: Session B: 11.30am - 1.30pm, Room A144
African and Afro-American Movements
|11.30am - 11.54am||Betwixt Identity and Security: African New Religious Movements (ANRMs) and the Politics of Religious Networking in Europe
Afe Adogame, Universität Bayreuth, Germany
At the dawn of the new millennium, African New Religious Movements (ANRMs) have renewed vigour in their task of charting and appropriating religious space outside the cultural milieu from which they emerged. ANRMs have budgeoned in Europe owing greatly to increasing transnational migration, improved transportation systems, new forms of global communication networks, politics, global marketing (commerce), tourism. This paper seeks to examine the proliferation of these religious communities in Europe. In the face of contemporary religious, political and socio-cultural realities, ANRMs are increasingly being engaged in charting local-global religious networks to further their self-insertion and self-assertion on the host religious landscape. Such networking and evolving strategies are functioning as conduits towards maintaining identity and ensuring security. This paper will further investigate how and to what extent attempts have been made through such networks to articulate and respond to varied issues of religious, economic, cultural, political and social concerns. What significant role(s) do the ANRMs play in the adaptation of African migrants to their new cultural environment? What role(s) do the ANRMs, as diasporan communities, play in stimulating, supporting and impacting change both in their host contexts and in their motherlands.
|Religious Pluralism and Identity Formation
Kabwe Chikolwa, United Church of Zambia, Zambia
This abstract outlines religious cross-fertilisation of Christian and African religions. Africans realising that Christianity was not transient, incorporated it into their own African religious life. This hybridised partnership has produced a new fused vibrant African Christianity.
|12.18pm - 12.42pm||The Rastafarian Movement: Dreadlocks and Marijuana as Religious Symbols
Eliana Ferraris, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
In the manner of Anthony F. C. Wallace, Rastas may be regarded as a revitalisation movement which found his reason of existence in Marcus Garveys prophecy: "Look to Africa, where a Black King shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is near" (Barrett, 1988). Rastas believe that this black king is Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari), Emperor of Abyssinia who has been crowned in Africa and is preparing Ethiopia for the repatriation of all Africans. The Rastafarianism is a revitalisation movement which has developed within it both religious convictions and nationalist hopes, seeking in this way to revolt against the White Mans violence and to fulfil his main desire, coming back to Ethiopia, being both Motherland and Heaven.
|12.42pm - 1.06pm||Christian Pluralism and the Quest of Identity in African Initiated Churches in Germany
Benjamin Simon, University of Heidelberg, Germany
I. Christian Pluralism
1.Christian Pluralism in Germany
2. Pentecostals, a growing phenomenon
II. African Initiated Churches in a New Context
1. Structural distinction
III. Three Models of Identity Quest in African Initiated Churches
1. "The Church of Jesus Christ on Earth through the Prophet Simon Kimbangu" - a Model of seclusion
The importance of a Pentecostal theology for African Christians in a foreign and hostile context.
|1.06pm - 1.30pm||Globalization and the Cultural Effects of the World-Economy: the Emergence of African Initiated Churches in the Transkei
Dawid Venter, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
My paper seeks to demonstrate theoretically how globalization trends articulated with national socio-economic developments in South Africa to contribute to the rise of African Initiated Churches in South Africa. J De Wet's (1994) description of the emergence of Zionist-Apostolic churches in the former homeland of Transkei is central to my argument.
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 4: Session C: 11.30am -1.30pm, Room A379
New Age 2
|Oriental Orthodoxy and The New Age
Amir Albert Hanna, Coptic Orthodox Theological College, Australia
|12.00pm - 12.20pm||Why do the churches become empty, while New Age grows?
Dick Houtman, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
32 in-depth interviews with New Agers and, comparing the young and the elderly, survey data collected among the Dutch population at large in 1998 (N=1,848) are analysed. It is concluded, first, that there are no indications that the decline of the Christian tradition has been caused by a process of rationalisation. Second, the decline of the Christian tradition and the growth of non-religiosity as well as New Age are caused by increased levels of moral individualism (individualisation). Implications for the sociological analysis of cultural and religious change are discussed.
|Slovenian New Agers and Gift-giving
Barbara Potrata, University of Cambridge, UK
As a PhD candidate at Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University., UK, I spent the 1998-1999 academic year in post-socialist Slovenia doing fieldwork among Slovenian New Agers, focusing on their economic activities. Since New Agers perceive themselves primarily as the people who "help the others", in their economic activities they feel great uneasiness about charging for something what is considered both as "spiritual" and "help". Hence, through various strategies, they re-define their "fees" as "gifts". In this way, the New Agers eschew moral anxiety for charging for their activities, for they no longer see them as profit activities. Also, in this way the post-socialist public sphere with its market relations and "goods" is opposed to the New Age sphere of reciprocity, based on the practice of gift-giving and "gifts".
|1.00pm - 1.20pm||Consumption of Religious Goods in Israel, Two Cases of Private Religion: The New Age and Traditional Pilgrimage
Nurit Zaidman, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
The article describes how consumers of the New Age movement and consumers of North African origin perceive and use religious goods. Interactions are taking place within the context of private religion, when goods are transferred directly from an individual producer to the individual consumer. A comparison of the behaviour of these consumers allows us to better understand the process of commercialisation of religiou8s goods. The paper focuses on the following questions: How consumers in these two sub-cultures define and categorise the world of religious objects. What kinds of networks of significance attribute meaning to religious objects within each sub-culture? How the cultural world of consumers sets limits or permits the commercialisation of religious objects?
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 4: Session D: 11.30am -1.30pm, Room A44
|Religious Pluralism and Social Solidarity in Turkey From Globalization Theory on The Way of Integration to European Union
Hüsnü Ezber Bodur, K.S.U. University, Kahramanmara, Turkey
As we know the main characteristic of 20th century is its unprecedented many social transformation experiences, especially the last decade of that is characterised by the globalization. So in the first part of this paper I want to summarise the development of secularisation process in the context of modern Turkish society. Following this, I highlight the religion groups which have emerged in Turkey since the proclamation of Turkish Republic in 1923 from the theory of New Religious Movements. Therefore the effects of global forces like global fundamentalism on religion landscape will be discussed. Having given this, the other section will provide an overview about the religious conflicts and their relations with the post industrialisation era and give some notes on solution of these problems in the framework of pluralism and social solidarity. Finally, we can overcome some of the problems by assigning religion to the private realm and establishing communication between different cultures by way of more co-operation and which is paradigm of the new world order by emphasising the commonality instead of emphasis on the differences. On the other hand, the aim of this study is to explain how to overcame the simplistic explanations based on selective data distort reality and prejudice stereotypes and negative images which are misleading attitudes toward Turkey. This article is based on a research titled "Social and economic dimension of globalization" which was prepared for a commission report on November 30, 1999.
|Limin' wid ja": Spiritual Baptists who Become Rastafarians and then Become Spiritual Baptists Again
Stephen Glazier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
Spiritual Baptists and Rastafarians represent two competing ritual eudemonics battling for potential converts on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. As Protestant fundamentalists, the Spiritual Baptists devote a great deal of time and energy to proselytising and missionary work.
|The Pragmatics of Conversion in the Brazilian Religious Market Place
Sidney M. Greenfield, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA
From the time of its discovery and first settlement in the sixteenth century to the fall of the empire at the end of the nineteenth century, Roman Catholicism was Brazil's official religion. Since then, under a series of Republican constitutions, Brazilians have been free to worship any religion they choose. As the twenty-first century begins, a number of diverse religious groups, tracing their origins to the African homelands of the former slaves, to non-Catholic European traditions, to Amerindian beliefs or the practices of Asian (and other) immigrants, or invented in situ, are competing--especially in the urban centres--with both Roman Catholicism and each other for followers from a population that has grown ten fold in the past 100 years. Building on Peter Berger's imagery of religious groups in multi-religious contexts having to "market" themselves to gain converts, the paper argues that Brazilian religions offer practical help--with problems of this world ranging from material assistance to healing and domestic tranquillity--in addition to beliefs and rituals, to individuals who have come not only to choose among them, but also to change religions periodically over their life spans, affiliating with the one that satisfies their most current needs and wants.
|The Market Logic in Religious Sphere: Competition, Demand and the Dynamic of the Religious Discourses and Practices in Brazil
Lemuel Guerra, Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil
This Paper has the objective of analysing the articulation between the structuration of the religious sphere in terms of market and the dynamic of transformation on religious practices and discourses in Brazil. Our study was made using a sample of cities from the state of Paraíba and we adopted general premises of Peter Berger and Finke/Stark's models of Religious Market. We tested the applicability of the models above by analysing specifically the case of the Catholic Church. The methodology we used included information we got from secondary sources, participant observation of several religious celebrations and a series of interviews with religious leaders.
|1.06pm - 1.30pm||Resurgence of Fundamentalism in Contemporary United States
George N. Lundskow, Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA
Covers the resurgence of fundamentalist evangelical Christianity in the contemporary United States. Discusses the implications of social identity based on literal interpretations of the Bible, and the significance of this movement in relationship to economic and cultural change. Also considers the possible impact of Christian-Right beliefs on US foreign and domestic policy. The paper argues that fundamentalism in its new form provides emotional security at the expense of individual personality and thought. Drawing on a long cultural history, contemporary fundamentalism includes both mythical and realist visions of community. Contrary to previous manifestations, neo-fundamentalism calls all people to join a sacred community; it excludes no one initially. However, this idealised community requires submission to narrow and absolute moral codes, and thus the movement, despite a rhetoric of openness, creates and enforces a confrontational moralism. It reinforces submissive attitudes towards authority, and aggression towards moral violators, an orientation which the movement expresses and its members understand as "compassion" and "love."
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 4: Session E: 11.30am - 1.30pm, Room A550
Cult Watch Groups
|11.30am - 12.00am||Watching Cult-Watchers
Eileen Barker, London School of Economics, UK
New religious movements do not exist in a vacuum. Among the key players in the cult scene are the cult-watching groups. These are organisations and networks of people who, for personal or professional reasons, contribute to the complex of relationships between the movements and the rest of society. The primary aim of this paper is to offer a general, comparative background by pointing out some of the processes that take place in the cult scene and how, in a variety of situations, the activities of different types of cult-watching groups may or may not make a difference.
|The Maryland Task Force from a Eyewitness Counter-Cult Perspective
David Clark, Leo J. Ryan Foundation, USA
As a former member of a new religious group who left that organisation in 1974 as a walk away of my own accord without any deprogramming. I was invited to attend and gave testimony at a two day gathering with a Baptist Pastor George Swope a founding member of the American Family Foundation at the Russell Senate building with United States Senator Bob Dole. Senator Dole held the ADHOC gathering in 1976 to address the growing cult problem of new religious groups mainly on college campuses. I saw leading inter-disciplinary experts for the first time describe a phenomenon that was eerily familiar. The 1976 gathering in Washington, D.C. exposed me to families and professionals in the state of Maryland who had been directly impacted by the growing cult problem with new religious movements, especially on Maryland college campuses. I met with Maryland State legislators and testified with Delegate Ida Rueben before the Maryland legislature in 1980 concerning cults on campus and Ida Rueben became a Maryland Senator and a member of the Maryland Task Force on cults. I also testified before the White House Conference on Families in Washington, D.C. before Chairperson Coretta Scott King concerning the impact of cults on American families.
|12.30pm - 1.00pm||The Anti-Cult Movement in the Old World
Anson David Shupe, Indiana University-Purdue University, USA
Susan E. Darnell, Portage, Indiana, USA
Since the 1980s when the North American anticult movement (ACM) crystallized into two national organizations -- the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) and the American Family Foundation (AFF) -- there has been a steady stream of CAN and AFF representatives to Europe, helping anticult groups there to form, encouraging their political activities, and literally proselytizing them with the ACM's "mind control" ideology. Previously we have examined the operating procedures of CAN, many of them criminal, thanks to recent acquisition of that bankrupt group's financial and organizational records. In this paper we draw on similoar historical materials (Pamphlets, correspondence, conference programs, etc.) to trace the ACM's influence on much current European anti-religious pluralism thinking, such as French politicians' recent concern with the so- called "mental manipulation" powers of "sects." In other words, we locate how pseudo-social science migrated from the New World to the Old. We also conclude our analysis in the context of the social movement resource mobilization approach taken from sociology.
|1.00pm - 1.15pm||Respondent: Jeffrey Hadden, University of Virginia, USA|
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Plenary IV: 2.30pm - 4pm, Old Theatre
Minority Faiths and the Law
|The Emerging Legal Environment Faced by Smaller Religious Communities in Central and Eastern Europe
Cole Durham, Brigham Young University Law School, USA
|3.00pm - 3.30pm||Why France: Historical and Ideological Roots of the French Anti-Cult Scare
Massimo Introvigne , CESNUR, Italy
|3.30pm - 4.00pm||Cult Controversies in Japan: Pre and Post AUM Legal Developments
James Richardson , University of Nevada, USA
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 5: Session A: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A220
|New Religiosity in the City of Visaginas ( Lithuania)
Milda Alisauskiene, Vilnius University, Lithuania
The city of Visaginas was established in 1975 for the workers of nuclear power plant of Ignalina. The population was gathered from different regions of Soviet Union. My paper will focus on the different religious traditions and their coexistence in this artificially assembled secularised city.
|4.54pm - 5.18pm||Legislation on Religion and the Challenge of Pluralism in Lithuania
Donatas Glodenis, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Lithuania
In the wake of Lithuanian independence a new openness to plurality of perspectives (including religion) could have been observed in the country. In the legal framework the new openness was expressed a commitment from the government to establish religious freedom. However, the tensions between the pluralistic perspective on the society and the monolithic ideal led to an adoption of a law on Religious communities which differentiated religious communities into traditional/non-traditional, thus giving ground for future elaboration of different statuses of different religious communities. The legal definitions in Lithuanian law have facilitated a stagnation in the societal attitudes towards minority religions, fixing those on the mostly anti-cult view, while the adoption of those definitions were largely chosen because of the indirect influence of the anti-cult attitudes, prevailing in Europe.
|5.18pm - 5.42pm||Enlivenment through Networking: Charismatic Christians in Latvia
Agita Luse, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Latvia, Latvia
My focus in this paper will be on charismatic Christian communities which, from the late 1980s on, have been the fastest growing religious bodies in the Baltic states. For three years I have done field work among the members of the New Generation, the largest neo-Pentecostal church in Latvia. I want to argue that it is its dynamic and flexible organisational structure, intense communication within it, and the affirmative self-image fostered by this community, rather than its sectarian features or authoritarian style of leadership, that account for the high level of the members commitment. The charismatics commonly use the idiom of alive Church ; I want to show that this idiom reflects ongoing sociogenetic and psychogenetic processes conferring on the New Generation adherents the sense of constant enlivenment.
|5.42pm - 6.06pm||Religious Marketplace in the Post-Communist Society. The Case of Estonia
Ringo Ringvee, Department of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Estonian Republic, Estonia
The collapse of the Soviet system in Europe affected also the local religious scene. The post-Communist countries have gone through a rapid social, political, and cultural change during the last decade. Different post-Communist countries chose different ways to regulate the religious situation. From the early 1990s onward Estonia experienced rapid social change as the social and economical reforms were introduced. The key word for those reforms was "free market". This idea had impact also to the regulation of the religious scene when the idea of non-preferential treatment of religious communities was introduced by the State. These processes created "the spiritual supermarket" in Estonia. During the 1990s many new religious movements entered to the Estonian religious scene.
|6.06pm - 6.30pm||Religious Distance in Croatia
Dinka Marinovic Jerolimov, Institutza drustvena istrazivanja, Croatia
Ivan Cifric, Filozofski fakultet Sveucilista u Zagrebu, Croatia
The paper presents the results from the research "Religious changes and values in Croatian society" conducted in the Zagreb region (1999) on religious distance between Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Orthodox, Baptists, Adventists, Evangelicals, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Hare Krishnas. Religious distance was measured through acceptance or rejection of marriage, friendship, neighbourhood, working and living in the same state with the members of listed groups. The analysis shows: the acceptance of marriage only to Catholics; the rejection of marriage to members of all other groups; the smallest distance to Catholics; the biggest distance to Hare Krishna members; bigger religious distance among religious respondents, regular religious practicants, less educated, farmers, workers, and small towns inhabitants. Dominant Catholic identity helps us to understand different levels of religious distance.
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 5: Session B: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A144
|The Hegemonic Impact of the Myth of Religious Diversity
Lori G. Beaman, University of Lethbridge, Canada
There is much excitement these days about religious diversity - we are told that the market is teeming with consumers making choices, joining churches, leaving churches, exploring faith in a multitude of possibilities. Sheilas, immigrants, new religious movements, and numerous fusion religions the likes of which we have never seen before are changing the religious landscape and challenging the secularisation thesis. North America's pluralism is, we are told, at least a partial explanation for the religious fervour we are experiencing in such a variety of flavours.
|4.54pm - 5.18pm||Unrecognized Charisma? A Study and Comparison of Four Charismatic Leaders: Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, L Ron Hubbard, Swami Prabhupada?
George Chryssides, University of Wolverhampton,UK
The paper questions the prevalent view, emanating from Weber, that new religious movements emerge from a charismatic leader whose charisma becomes routinized and institutionalised. This model fails to distinguish the different types of leader, evidenced by Russell (the charismatic human individual), smith (the prophet), Hubbard (the magus) and Prabhupada (the guru). These importantly different types of charismatic leadership are thoroughly confused by anti-cult movement, and often conflated in sociological writing; yet they are crucial to the way in which their resultant movements develop.
|5.18pm - 5.42pm||Mormonism and Globalism
Douglas Davies, University of Durham, UK
In this paper I will take up the issue proposed by Rodney Stark that Mormonism is set to become the next world-religion. I will offer a definition of world-religion (something largely absent from sociological and comparative study of religion) and consider Mormonism in relation to that. I will, then, argue that such a notion of world-religion is now being rendered redundant by post-modern social change. I will, then, suggest that globalisation conduces to the success of a religion like Mormonism with a firm export-ethos and a minimum degree of cultural adaptation. The argument will hang on the desire for small groups of people to seek a global form of security and not desire a movement that extensively changes itself for the new and culturally diverse public. This will develop something of my recently published book on Mormonism, The Mormon Culture of Salvation.
|5.42pm - 6.06pm||Immigrants, Globalisation and Transnational Religions
Helen Rose Ebaugh, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
In the past decade, immigration scholars have documented the existence of transnational communities established by immigrants in terms of political, economic and social ties.. The research reported in this paper describes the types of transnational religious communities that are being created by immigrants as they settle in the United States while maintaining ongoing contact with individuals and congregations in their home countries. As a result of the frequent contact that immigrants maintain with their home communities, a dynamic, continuous, interactive process of religious change goes on between sending and receiving communities, such that religious institutions world-wide are being changed by immigrant patterns. Based on research conducted within six U.S. immigrant congregations in Houston, Texas and in their sending home communities, the paper documents and analyses the kinds of changes that are occurring.
|6.06pm - 6.30pm||Being a Religious Organisation in a Global World. A Comparative Perspective
Margit Warburg, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
General trends of globalisation present religious organisations with opportunities as well as threats. Both Roland Robertson and Peter Beyer have discussed this issue, concentrating mainly on the trends towards cultural homogenisation and the reactions they provoke. In the present paper I shall expand on the theme of opportunities and threats by analysing other significant trends associated with globalisation in general. In a study of the globalisation challenges facing both businesses and communities Rosabeth Moss Kanter has proposed four trends that she sees as particularly influential: Mobility, simultaneity, bypass, and pluralism. I have earlier used Kanters approach to argue for a comparison of the religious supermarket of ancient Rome and of today. In the present paper I shall argue that the working conditions of religious organisations, like that of other organisations operating in the new global world, are fundamentally shaped by the trends listed by Kanter. I shall give examples of religious organisations exploiting the opportunities presented by these four trends, but also of the inherent threats of these. I shall argue that the opportunities and threats of all four trends are a question of proper balancing between cosmopolitanism and localism.
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 5: Session C: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A379
|Schism in a Sect: The Worldwide Church of God - 200 offshoots, and counting...
David Barrett, London School of Economics, UK
In 1995, ten years after the death of its founder, the leader of the heterodox sect the Worldwide Church of God announced that it was now an Evangelical Church, and renounced the teachings of founder Herbert W Armstrong. Many ministers left in protest, taking their congregations with them.
|5.00pm - 5.30pm||The Industry of Praise and Mexican Pentecostalism
Carlos Garma-Navarro, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico
Music is a very important part of Mexican Pentecostalism. This music has undergone remarkable changes in the past decades. Today hymn production for the local consumption has led the way to the "industry of praise" ( industria de la alabanza) phenomena, as it has been called by mexican pentecostal bishop M. Gaxiola. It is characterized by the production of sound and video tapes as well as artist s road tours. In order to understand such a shift it is usefull to ask about the use of specific resources by social actors such as converted musicians,singers and dancers. It is important to understand how conversion of these persons has allowed pentecostal music to become an active alternative cultural industry which benefits both the artists and the churches.
|5.30pm - 6.00pm||Comparative Theology and the Future of Fundamentalism Studies
Peter A. Huff, Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
Theology was the principal agent initiating the first experiments in the academic study of fundamentalism nearly a century ago. Today it is almost completely absent from the field. Despite the rigor that historians, social scientists, and religious studies scholars have brought to the interdisciplinary enterprise of fundamentalism studies, contemporary theologians either ignore fundamentalism or dismiss the phenomenon as unworthy of critical analysis. This paper explores new ways in which academic theology can contribute to the future of fundamentalism studies. It argues for an extension of the pluralist paradigm to the theological examination of world fundamentalisms, making the case for the nonabsoluteness of nonfundamentalist religions. Envisioning fundamentalism as a peculiar wisdom tradition produced by the experience of modernity, comparative theology can open a new chapter in the history of fundamentalism studies.
|6.00pm - 6.30pm||Religious Pluralism & Globalization
J. Deotis Roberts, Duke Divinity School, USA
This discussion is of vital importance for ethnic and racial conversation and reconciliation in the U.S.A. As the cofounder of the Black theology movement in the U.S., I have always been interested in "liberation" from oppression and "reconciliation" between diverse ethnic and cultural groups. The discussion in this paper is in the context of concern.
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 5: Session D: 4.30pm - 6.30pm
The Church of Scientology
|Scientology and Postmodernism
Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
Scientology, in many ways, can be said, to be a child of its time. In fact it has been from its early years. From its birth around 1950, an anti-modern movement in many respects, but still sharing a lot of characteristics that narrowly tied it to the cultural and historical phenomena in focus of its own cultural criticism.
|4.54pm - 5.18pm||Descriptive not Prescriptive: Stigmatised Marginal Religious Movements from a Legal Perspective
Peter Edge, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Harper and Le Beau have argued that religious movements with certain characteristics are prone to stigmatisation as undesirable. This paper considers the extent to which the markers identified by them can be found in legal conflicts involving Scientology organisations within the English jurisdiction. Having established the utility of Harper and Le Beau's approach to description, the paper moves on to argue that none of the identified markers can serve as a basis for legal proscription.
|5.18pm - 5.42pm||The Legal Treatment of the Scientology Church in Greece
Kyriakos Kyriazopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
|5.42pm - 6.06pm||A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community: The Sea Organization
J. Gordon Melton, Institute for the Study of American Religion, USA
In the 1990s, controversy concerning the Church of Scientology has been focused on the Sea Organisation, a semi-monastic community that also serves as the Church's leadership unit. Much of that controversy has focused upon the Sea Organisations own internal disciplinary program, the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), which has been likened to a concentration camp by several former members. This paper reports on a study of the Sea Organisation and the RPF conducted in 2000. It is the first report that attempts to integrate not only the reports of the former members, but information obtained by observation of the RPF programs in several cities in the United States (Florida and California) and Europe (Denmark), and extensive interviews with current and former RPF members.
|6.06pm - 6.20pm||Respondent: Martin Weightman, Director, European Human Rights Office.Church of Scientology|
|6.20pm - 6.30pm||General Discussion|
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Parallel Session 5: Session E: 4.30pm - 6.30pm, Room A42
The Twelve Tribes in Europe
|The Story of the Little Flock": The 12 Tribes in France, at Tabithas Place
|Social Obstacles to Religious Freedom for the Twelve Tribes in Europe
Jean Swantko, Coxsackie, New York, USA
"Social Obstacles to Religious Freedom" will address the written documentation of a 1983 "plan to destroy the Church in Island Pond" [Vermont] indicating the deliberate efforts to use the powers of government to interfere with the religious freedom of its members. Twelve Tribes' Communities around the world have been significantly affected by the activities of the anti-cult movement.
|NRM Researcher as Court Witness: The 12 Tribes in France: a report on the March 2001 trial
Susan Palmer, Dawson College, Montreal, Canada
|Religious Persecution and the Rights of Children: The Case of the Twelve Tribes
Richard Robbins, University of New York, Plattsburgh, USA
|Question and Discussion|
Day 3, 21 April 2001
Banquet: (7.30pm - 10.30pm)
Absolutes and Relatives: New Religions in Plural Society
Guest speaker: Bryan Wilson, FBA, All Souls College, Oxford, UK
|9.30am - 11.30am||Parallel Session 6|
|11.30am - 12.00pm||Coffee|
|12.00pm- 1.00pm||Plenary V: The Future of NRM Studies|
|1.00pm - 3.00pm||Lunch/ Field Visit: Multi-Faith Southwark|
|3.00pm-5.00pm||Field Visit: UnOrthodox London|
Day 4, 22 April 2001
Parallel Session 6: Session A: 9.30am - 11.30am, Room A220
|Barnett Newman: Iconoclasm, Heilsgeschichte and the "Modern Mythology"
J. Edgar Bauer, University of Tubingen, Germany
The Jewish painter Barnett Newman (1905-1970) is one of the main exponents of American abstract expressionism and has been considered as "the intellectual codifier of the movement".His aethestic iconoclasm aims at the critical deconstruction of the paradigms ofbeauty determining the production of idolatric "pictures". This negatory task is undertaken from the perspective of the redemptive function of "paintings" whose subject matter is the tragic - and thus liberating - confrontation with the "terror of the sublime". As his own interpretation of his chef-d'oeuvre "The Stations of the Cross, Lema Sabachtani" shows, Newman was concerned with the existential radicalisation of the "sense of place" as indispensable prerequisite for the "mending" of Being through the "wholeness of peace". Corresponding to the "modern mythology" propounded by his "world thought" (Thomas B. Hess), Newman's "history of salvation" encompassesallartistic creation capable of ascertaining: "The sublime is now".
|Religious Nomadism and Ecological Spirituality in Brazil
Sandra Duarte de Souza, Universidade Católica de Goiás, Brazil
The end of this century in Brazil is being marked by the rise of what we could name "new secular religious movements". These new religious movements are born in a plural cultural context and are reinforced by one distinctive element: the religious nomadism, which is very strong in Latin American societies. In this context the ecological spirituality movements deserve some attention, specially because of their expansion in the last ten years in Brazil.
|10.30am - 11.00am||A Mexican Multi-Level Sales Organization as a Quasi-Religion
Cristina Gutiérrez-Zúñiga, El Colegio de Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico
The aim of this short paper is to present a research project on a multilevel sales organisation. It was established in Guadalajara, Mexico in the late eighties and by now it has become a commercial emporium and also has developed a wide range of public activities, from cultural and artistic promotion to an education centre. My interest is to analyse it as a quasi religious phenomena considering three aspects:
|11.00am - 11.30am||Institutionalised Anticipation: Architecture and Religious Symbolism in the Raelian Religion
Mikael Rothstein, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
The Raelian religion's main aim these years is to erect what is termed an "Embassy" for the Elohim, a race of extraterrestrials believed to be the creators of human kind some 25.000 years ago. The building is a precondition fo their arrival, and thus a significant religious symbol. The paper explores the meaning and implications of the projected building.
Day 4, 22 April 2001
Parallel Session 6: Session B: 9.30am - 11.30am, Room A144
|The Divinatory Consultations in Modernity: The Mystic Fair in Sao Paulo - Brazil
Silas Guerriero, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil
The Mystic Fair in São Paulo offers a large variety of divinatory practices in publics places of the town.
|The McDonaldisation of Occulture
Peter. R. Koenig, Zurich, Switzerland
There are plenty of obvious examples of McDonaldisation of Occultism - The American O.T.O.-group does not participate in any of these pursuits as yet. But the increase of its popularity and with the general acceptance of border realms of the occulture constantly getting closer to the mainstream, it is only a question of time until via Internet not only T-Shirts with the Secret Order's insignia but also sex magical ingredients can be ordered on-line. The fragmented self (the multiple subjectivities and post-modern concepts of the self), life as a system of cabalistic constants which constitute the reality of many occultists is mirrored in the endless manipulations of images (perceived in trance-like visions) and in their transcripts and also of the imaginations on and behind the screen) on the Internet.
|The Modern Revival of the Enochic Tradition and its Role in the Religious Pluralism of the 21 Century
Yuri Stoyanov, The Warburg Institute, University of London, UK
The paper intends to discuss first the main features of the Enochic tradition and its crucial influence on Jewish apocalyptic, apocryphal and mystical traditions as well as on early Christianity and Gnosticism. Charting briefly the medieval survivals of Enochic apocalypticism and mysticism, it then focuses on their modern revival in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and its impact on some trends in western esotericism, which was determined by the rediscovery of major Enochic texts and the Enochic material in the cabalistic tradition. The paper explores the influence of the revived Enochic apocalypticism and mysticism on a variety of esoteric and cultic currents in modern religiosity, ranging from ritual magic to millenarianism, and its elitist re-interpretation in literary, Masonic and neo-Gnostic frameworks to identify the new possible patterns of its presence in the religious pluralism of the 21 century and its future influence on eclectic western religiousities.
|10.42am - 11.06am||The Lost Aisle: Selling Atlantis in the Spiritual Supermarket
John Walliss, University of Warwick, UK
Wayne Spencer, Lancaster, UK
A persistent theme within contemporary social theory is the claim regarding the end of tradition. However, a number of commentators have argued against this view, claiming that somewhat ironically the process of detraditionalization creates social spaces not only for the maintenance of tradition, but also for its re-invigoration and even (re)creation. In this paper I intend to develop Hobsbawm et als notion of the invention of tradition to discuss one example of this phenomenon: cult archaeology. Specifically, I will examine Graham Hancocks recent popularisation of the Atlantis myth in his million-selling books, television shows and lecture tours. In doing so my aim is to discuss how Hancocks ideas relate to the detraditionalization thesis and how the Spiritual Supermarket creates a social space for the (re)creation of tradition within the contemporary world.
|11.10am - 11.25am||The Alien and the Uncertain: Posthuman Selves within Lovecraftian Magick
Justin Woodman, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
This paper examines the emergence of a marginal set of contemporary magico-mythic tropes based on the work of cultural icon and science-fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft within contemporary Euro-American occult traditions. Lovecraftian exegeses of magical discourse are treated here as a contemporary mythical elaboration of the indeterminate cosmology implied by certain strands of modern scientific thought. To this extent, the paper explores the transformation of magical beliefs in light of the impact of modern secular-scientific narratives; it also examines how Lovecraftian magicians conceptions of selfhood and identity are re-envisioned - via the idiom of Lovecrafts extraterrestrial other - in relation to notions of ontological uncertainty. In contrast to the ecological, earth-based concerns of neo-pagan religions, the Nietzschean aims of Lovecraftian magick focalise a belief in humanitys potential for a post-terrestrial and post-human metamorphosis subsequently leading toward extraterrestrial modes of being: specifically a re-conceptualising of the self as something that is adaptive to the moral ambiguities, social dislocations and existential uncertainties seen to be characteristic of late modernity. An historical and theoretical analysis of contemporary Western magical groups working within the Lovecraftian mythological paradigm will be complemented with data drawn from recent anthropological fieldwork conducted within the occult community in London.
Day 4, 22 April 2001
Parallel Session 6: Session C: 9.30am -11.30am
Old & New Religious Movements
|9.30am - 10.00am||Fringe Catholic" Movements in Italy: From Basilio Roncaccia to Luigia Paparellis Divine Mission
Raffaella Di Marzio, GRIS (Gruppo di Ricerca e Informazione sulle Sette), Italy
"Fringe Catholic" movements (which exist quite apart from the Roman Catholic Church, because either of their peculiar doctrines or activities), although rarely studied, are an important segment of the NRM scene in Italy. While some of these movements are quite small, a couple are much larger. A number of competing "fringe Catholic" movements find their origins in the activities of Basilio Roncaccia (1876-1959). Common features of the Roncaccia tradition include healers as leaders, a central role of the Holy Trinity, and of the Cross, regarded in turn as a healing symbol. Within the Roncaccia tradition, the largest contemporary group, with some 10,000 members, is the Divine Mission ("La Missione Divina - Luigia Paparelli"), established by Luigia Paparelli (1907-1984). Luigias teaching and alleged supernatural phenomena attracted a large number of followers. They regard themselves as still part of the larger Roman Catholic community, but in fact represent a typical "fringe Catholicism", often influenced by local traditions, popular religion, and folk religion. The paper explores how membership in the Divine Mission, and its relationship to Catholicism, is perceived by different categories of individual members.
|10.00am - 10.30am||New Religious Movements and the Search for the Primitive Church in Waldensian History
Michael W. Homer, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Waldensians maintained small communities in Bohemia, France and Italy for nearly three centuries before the Protestant Reformation. Shortly after the Reformation, Swiss and German Reformers approached the Waldensians because they admired their tradition of dissent and wished to educate them and assimilate them in their movement. In 1532, the Waldensians adopted the Reformation and within the next generation they modified their traditions, doctrines and rituals to conform with Calvinism.
|10.30am - 11.00am||Diffusion and Implantation Processes of Siddha Yoga and Sukyo Mahikari into the West?
Frédérique Louveau, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France
Véronique Altglas, Sorbonne, France
Siddha Yoga, which began near Bombay in the 1930s, was brought to the West by Muktananda in the 1970s. Following his death in 1982 the movement has had a female leader, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (1955- ), and has acquired perhaps as many as 5,000 members in France and the UK. Sukyo Mahikari is a prophetic movement founded in Japan in 1959. Since the 70s, the founders mission has been to extend the reach of this spiritual movement all over the world. On the basis of ethnographic data gathered during fieldwork in France and England, well give a very brief outline of these two movements and analyse their forms of implantation in the western context. We hope that a comparative study of a Japanese and a neo-Hindu movement will cast light on the forms of implantation and adaptation adopted by Asian religious movements in the West.
|The Challenges and Opportunities of the Changing Religious Marketplace for New Religions: The Swedenborgian Case
Dr. Jane Williams-Hogan, Bryn Athyn College of the New Church, USA
The Swedenborgian Movement began in the eighteenth century almost simultaneously in England and the Americas. It was founded by the readers of Emanuel Swedenborg's (1688-1772) religious works. The church organizations founded on both sides of the Atlantic were congregational in structure in response to the egalitarian spirit of the times. The General Conference of the New Jerusalem in England, although found throughout Britain flourished particularly in the small towns of Lancashire and in London. The General Convention of the New Jerusalem developed first in the hamlets of New England and the cities of Baltimore, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Later it spread into the Western regions of New York, Pennsylvania and the Mid-West. By the end of the nineteenth century both organizations were locally respected and had gained positive national reputations. At the beginning of the twentieth century Conference has 73 societies with a total membership of 6,337. They ran eleven day schools which served 4,375 students and had over 7,000 children in attendance at their Sunday Schools. The Convention in America in the same era had 154 societies and a membership of 7,095.
Day 4, 22 April 2001
Parallel Session 6: Session D: 9.30am -11.30am
|9.30am - 9.54am||Globalisation and Identity Formation: The Case of the Fethullah Gülen Community
Filiz Baskan, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies in EUI, Florence, Italy
Fethullah Gülen has become a well known person all over Turkey since 1995. He emerged as a social phenomenon within a short period of time not only in Turkey but also internationally. His supporters, who constitute the Fethullah Gülen Community, have founded more than two thousand schools in fifty-two countries in five continents in the world. They have formed an international chain consisting, in addition to schools, of dershanes, student dormitories, a web of communication such as newspapers, journals, television and radio channels, companies and finance institutions. It can be proposed that during the 1990s the Fethullah Gülen Community became an important figure in social and political life in Turkey, but at the same time, since the activities of the Fethullah Gülen Community have transcended the borders of Turkey, it turned out to be a global phenomenon in a very significant way. Thus, the Community and its activities should be examined within the context of globalization process. This paper examines the Fethullah Gülen Community as a case study to explore the link between globalization and the revitalisation of religious (or Islamic) identity as a sign of localisation in Turkey. In so doing I address the following questions: What are the effects of the globalization on the revitalisation of the Fethullah Gülen Community? In what ways does the Fethullah Gülen Community participate in the larger processes of globalization? Can we consider the Fethullah Gülen Community as a sign of the localisation process? If so, why? How does the Fethullah Gülen Community regard the globalization process?
|9.54am - 10.18am||Religious Pluralism and Relativism: Reconfiguring the Self
Michael George, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
The diversity of religious opportunities in contemporary culture creates certain problematic conditions, especially in terms of identity and value formation. As religion becomes increasingly a matter of personal choice, the difficulties of maintaining traditional religious perspectives that are exclusive increases. In particular, truth claims (with their attendant criteria and value structures), are subject to critical scrutiny for practical social and economic reasons, if not for the theoretical discrepancies that plague ethical projects. What is required, if culture is not to degenerate into pure conflict, is a means of recognising cultural and historical relativism which goes hand-in-hand with a critically grounded intellectual capacity to recognise legitimate truth claims.
|10.18am - 10.42am||Maori Diaspora Spirituality and global indigeneity
Graham Harvey, King Alfred's College, UK
Indigenous spiritualities are commonly perceived to be fixed by geographical boundaries that remove them from globalisation. If they migrate beyond ancestral homelands they are only discussed as 'syncretised' and otherwise 'inauthentic' - because not 'traditional' - expressions of nostalgia. Meanwhile, globalisation impinges on indigeneous religions when New Agers or other Western religionists 'appropriate' aspects of colonised traditions. This paper introduces examples of such discourses before considering whether the perception of indigeneity as fixed and bounded (by time and/or place) and the allegation of 'appropriation' are true to the experience of diaspora Maori (in Alice Springs and London for example). More significantly, it questions whether such perceptions and allegations are useful academically.
|10.42am - 11.06am||When a New Religion Succeeds: Religious Pluralism and Globalization in the Bahá'í Doctrine of Progressive Revelation
Zaid Lundberg, Wilmette Institute, Sweden
Bahá'í has, during its relatively brief history and with relatively few adherents, become the world's most spread modern religious movement. Although the apparent success of Bahá'í can be understood in its relationship to, and its co-emergence with, the modern religious pluralism and globalization, this paper focuses on the ideological, theological and doctrinal dimensions of Bahá'í. It is argued that religious pluralism and globalization are intimately related to the Bahá'í doctrine of progressive revelation. The purpose of this paper is to examine and exemplify the role of this doctrine in the global success of Bahá'í.
|Religion at the Edge of Ethnic Identity
Clarice Novaes da Mota, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Brazil
The Kariri-Shoko community is composed of descendants from indigenous tribes that inhabited the region of Northeast Brazil. It is located in the area by the town Colegio, in the state of Alagoas. After five centuries of a colonisation process that scattered and annihilated the majority of tribal communities in the area, the Kariri-Shoko have managed to survive, through the changes imposed by European colonisers, conforming to the rural lifestyle of the larger society. They are still identified as a tribal group that has kept part of its traditional system of belief and rituals. In this paper I argue - and support my argument with ethnographic data - that they have been keeping the faith in their ancestral deities as a means of empowerment against the outside pressures and claims over their territory. They have kept a part of the ancestral land as a ceremonial village, where the "tribal secret" - surrounding the intake of an entheogenic beverage known as Jurema - takes place. Only members of the indigenous community can participate in the religious ritual surrounded by secrecy. It is thus that they keep symbolic and real frontiers against non-tribal members, solidifying their traditions and their ethnic identity.
Day 4, 22 April 2001
Parallel Session 6: Session E: 9.30am - 11.30am, Room A550
Behaviour & Belief
|9.30am - 9.54am||The Social Aspects of Involvement in Buddhism among Westerners: An Exploratory Analysis
Haydn Aarons, Monash University, Australia
Tim Phillips, University of Tasmania, Australia
Global processes have fundamentally reshaped the nature of religious choice in modern societies. Symptomatic of these processes is growing religious diversity and pluralism. An important indictor of these developments is the rapid growth of eastern religions in western contexts. In Australia, Buddhism exemplifies this trend. While the expansion of Buddhism in Australia has largely reflected recent patterns of Asian immigration, another important factor that has contributed to its rise is the growing involvement of non-Asian Australians. The purpose of this study is to explore the social aspects of involvement in Buddhism among Westerners. Data is from a 1997 survey of 169 Westerners associated with a Tibetan Buddhist Study Centre based in a large Australian regional city. The paper will have three key purposes. First, to provide a social profile of the participants and to document the distribution of Buddhist practice and belief among them. Second, to investigate the social sources of involvement in Buddhism. Third, to examine the influence active engagement with Buddhism has on the importance participants attribute to other aspects of their social lives (e.g. family, work, politics).
|Mental Health of Modern Societies.
Survival of Traditional Spiritual Values in a World of Mercantilistic Thought Patterns.
Guido Broich, University of Ferrara, Italy
While major mental disorders appear to be quite stable in history, today we see a tremendous rise in minor or subliminal mental problems. Emergency rooms of modern urban hospitals are filled for at least one third by people whose symptoms are based not on physical medical problems, but generated by anxiety and neurotic social maladjustment. In all levels of society tranquillants and psychopharmaca are the top sellers in the economically developed world, and tremendous organisational problems and costs are generated for the Health Services. Mental problems are becoming as characteristic for our societies as aeroplanes and computers. Today only materialistic values are officially perceived as the base for peer acceptance and social well-being. To be accepted in the group, people must demonstrate acceptance of the mercantilistic though patterns as basic, real and the only ones of value. Spiritual values are considered outdated and spoken about in an apologetic, self-justifying way.
|Public Ritual Behaviour after Disasters: an Emerging Phenomenon of 'Civil Religion'?
Albertina Nugteren, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Through the news media we have all become familiar with the emerging rituals around the death of celebrities like Olof Palme, Yitzhak Rabin and Princess Diana. Such public behaviour shows striking parallels with an emerging repertory of ritual performed when disasters (such as airplane crashes, explosions and sunken ferries) have struck a community, a city or a nation. On closer study there is invention as well as imitation and repetition. In this paper I attempt to trace the international history of such rituals of communal grieving and protesting. It appears that, within the major phenomenon of recent ritualising, especially sudden unexpected unmerited death evokes a moment of collective ritual density. Is this an instance of 'secular', 'civil' religion?
|10.42am - 11.06am||Muslim Women, Religious Experience, and Everyday Life: The Professionally Working Muslim Women in Turkey in the 1990s
Nese Oztimur, Uludag University, Turkey
In this paper the religious experiences of professionally working Muslim women will be analysed with considering the effects of these experiences on the organisation of their everyday life activities and relationships
In Turkey, at the late 1980s and 1990s, women were the main actors of the Islamic revivalism via their two dimensional roles; as a representators of Islamic movement at the public sphere, with their unique way of dressing, "veil"; and as a reproducers of Islamic way of life within the private sphere. However, the university educated professional Islamic women because of their multi sourced identity formation - they have modern education on the one hand, and traditional Islamic belief on the other hand- have a various discourse bases for legitimising their everyday life activities, either it is at the public sphere or at the private -domestic -one. This means that their religious experiences do not represent the rupture from their whole life stories, or so called narratives.
The ethnomethodological survey that is composed of life story and in-depth interview methods was adapted for the enquiring of the self understanding of Islamic veiled women. The survey has been realised with twenty professional, veiled, married Islamic women, at the long time period, between April 1997 and October 1999. The findings of survey give possibility to interpret that subject positions of these women is determined according to various sources. The socio-economic, political and cultural structure of current Turkish society, and their Islamic faith affect their identity formation process. In other words, the religious experience not only source from the essential religion : The religious meanings are temporal, relative to context, has an elasticity to articulate with the necessities of everyday life, and so do not contain a timeless essence.
|11.06am - 11.30am||An Illusion with a Future: Religion, Epistemology, Narrative
Edmond Wright, University of Cambridge, UK
A number of attempts have recently been made to trace a connection between religion and epistemology. The reason for this is pressing, for the theory of knowledge one espouses has profound implications for the notions of deity and religion itself. This paper presents two outcomes for religion, 1) that of following traditional empiricist or Wittgensteinian epistemologies, and 2) that of carrying through the implications of naturalised epistemology, such as that of Jean Piaget's 'genetic' version. Whereas the first regard knowledge as distinct from illusion, for the second it is a continual dialectical struggle, an endless re-aligning of mutual understanding. Wittgenstein, in particular, who does allow that language can be reformed, gives no explanation of how such reform could come about. From the approach here outlined, the process is argued to be essentially that of a narrative character. A theory of narrative based on this epistemology is explained, and its consequences for the nature of faith and a justifiable use of myth, remote from Plato's 'noble lie' are explored.
Day 4, 22 April 2001
Plenary V: 12.00pm - 1.00pm, Old Theatre
The Future of NRM Studies
|James Beckford, University of Warwick, UK|
|12.10pm - 12.20pm||Susan Palmer, Dawson College, Canada|
|12.20pm - 12.30pm||J. Gordon Melton, Institute for the Study of American Religion, USA|
|12.30pm - 12.40pm||Jean-Francois Mayer, University of Fribourg, Switzerland|
|12.45pm - 12.50pm||General Discussion|
Day 4, 22 April 2001
1.00pm-3.00pm Southwark Cathedral
Address: Montague Close, London SE1 9DA
Tel: 020 7367 6700
Southwark Cathedral is on the South Bank of the Thames. The nearest bridge is London Bridge. Please note that the Entrance is through the Pilgrims Porch, on the Riverside of the Cathedral.
1.00pm-3.00pm UnOrthodox London
Revd Alan Walker will meet people at Holborn Station, Kingsway exit, which is 5 minutes walk from the London School of Economics.
Visits to New religions
11.00am - 3.00pm Bhaktivedanta Manor of ISKCON
Address: Bhaktivedanta Manor, Dharam Marg, Hill Field Lane, Aldenham, Watford, WD2 8EZ
Tel: 01923 857 244
If you are at Stanmore station (Jubilee line) at 11am, a van will be waiting to take you to the Manor. There will then be a tour and questions before the opening of the curtains for devotion at 12.30, after which we will be offered lunch. After lunch there will be time for further discussion and a walk in the garden, weather permitting.
Those who are attending either or both of the following can be taken back to Stanmore station by 3pm.
4.00pm - 6.00pm Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO)
Address: FWBO, 51 Roman Road, London E2 0HU
Tel: 0121 442 5208
For the people coming from the Bhaktivedanta Manor, get off the Jubilee line at Bond Street and take the Circle Line (yellow) east to Bethnal Green. People not coming from the Manor can opt for the bus, # 8 (east bound) from High Holborn. From Bethnal Green station, take the Roman Road exit, walk down Roman Road (3 or 4 minutes) and there will be a red brick building on the left, on the corner of Roman Road and Globe Road. We should arrive there between 4 and 4.30pm.
The Buddhist centre at Bethnal Green houses approximately 100 people spread over 6 to 8 different communities. There is a full teaching programme that includes meditation, yoga and acupuncture. There is also a health food shop and a vegetarian restaurant. For those who are interested, there will be time for a meditation class.
6.00pm - 9.30pm The Family
Address: Marchmont Community Centre, Marchmont Street, London. This is a 2 minutes walk from Russell Square Tube Station and 10 minutes walk from the LSE.
Leave the tube station, turn right and Marchmont Street is immediately in front of you. Walk down the street, past shopping centre, and the Community Centre is on the right. Visitors are welcome between 6pm and 9.30pm, and they will be shown videos, and offered refreshments as well as having the opportunity to talk to first and second-generation members.
Online registration form
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