CESNUR - center for studies on new religions

Regulating Religion
Case Studies from Around the World

edited by James T. Richardson
Dept. of Sociology, University of Nevada, Reno


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Regulation of minority faiths varies greatly around the globe, with some countries allowing them considerable freedom to exist, recruit new members, raise money, and use public facilities. Other societies are more closed to the presence of such groups, either native or foreign. The pattern of reactions to minority religious movements is not easily explained by reference to usual terms.

Knowledge of historical factors in the various countries, coupled with a use of selected theories from sociology of religion and sociology of law, can assist understanding of the situation in various countries. Explicating these complex relationships is the challenge of this volume.

Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe examines, through the inclusion of contributions by international scholars, a global examination of how a number of contemporary societies are regulating religious groups. It focuses on legal efforts to exert social control over such groups, especially through court cases, but also with selected major legislative attempts to regulate them. As such, this analysis falls within the broad area of the sociology of social control and, more specifically, legal social control, a topic of great interest when studying how contemporary societies attempt to maintain social order. The factual details about social and legal developments in societies where religion has been defined as problematic include Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.

Regulating Religion will be of interest to researchers in the sociology of religion, the sociology of law, social policy, and religious studies and to students of these disciplines.

Contents and Contributors          1. Regulating Religion: A Sociological and Historical Introduction; James T. Richardson, I. Special Problem Areas in Western Europe 2. ‘Laïcité, Dystopia’ and the Reaction to New Religious Movements in France; James A. Beckford, 3. Anti-Cultism in the French Parliament: Desperate Last Stand or an Opportune Leap Forward? A Critical Analysis of the 12 June 2001 Act; Cyrille Dulvert, 4. Is there a Unique French Policy of Cults?: A European Perspective; Nathalie Luca, 5. Holy Mountains and Anti-Cult Ecology: The Campaign against the Aumist Religion in France; Massimo Introvigne,6. The German Enquete Commission on Sects: Political Conflicts and Compromises; Hubert Seiwert, 7. Germany’s Islamic Minority: Some Remarks on the Historical and Legal Developments; Wolf Aires, 8. Belgium’s Anti-Sect Policy; Willy Fautre, 9. Pseudoscience versus Minority Religions: An Evaluation of the Brainwashing Theories of Jean-Marie Abgrall; Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, 10. Brainwashing Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on Cults and Sects; James T. Richardson and Massimo Introvigne, 11. The Twelve Tribes Messianic Communities, the Ant-Cult Movement, and Governmental Response; Jean A. Swantko, II. More Tolerant European Countries 12. New Religions in the Republic of Italy; Michael W. Homer, 13. Foredoomed to Failure: The Anti-Cult Movement in the Netherlands; Richard Singelenberg, 14. Regulating New Religions in Denmark; Mikael Rothstein, 15. Social Justice and Minority Religions in Prison: The Case of England and Wales; James A. Beckford, III. Former Communist Countries and the Treatment of Minority Religions 16. Legal Regulation of Religions in Russia: New Developments; James T. Richardson, Galina A. Krylova, and Marat S. Shterin, 17. New Religious Movements and the State in Poland; Tadeusz Doktór, 18. Anti-Cult Movements and the Governmental Reports on Sects and Cults: The Case of Poland; Agnieszka Z. Kościańska, 19. Freedom of Religion and Minority Religions in Hungary; Balázs Schanda, 20. Law and Religion in the Czech Republic: Recent Developments; Lubomir Muller, 21. Religion and Society in Tension in Croatia: Social and Legal Status of Religious Communities; Siniöa Zrinöak, 22. Religion and Law in Uzbekistan: Renaissance and Repression in the Authoritarian Context; Reuel R. Hanks, IV. Autralia, India and the Far East 23. Social Justice Issues in Management of Religious Diversity in Australia; Gary D. Bouma, 24. The Rehabilitation and Regulation of Religion in Singapore; Michael Hill, 25. Cult Controversies and Legal Developments Concerning New Religions in Japan and China; James T. Richardson and Bryan Edelman, 26. Religion, Law, and Minorities in India: Problems with Judicial Regulation; Badrinath Rao, V. North and South America 27. Public Management of Religious Diversity in Canada: Development of Technocratic Pluralism; Pauline Côté, 28. The Legal Situation if Religious Minorities in Mexico: The Current Situation, Problems, and Conflicts; Carlos Garma Navarro, 29. Cult Controversies and Government Control of New Religious Movements in Argentina, 1985-2002; Alejandro Frigerio and Hilario Wynarczck, 30. State and Federal Cooperation in Regulating New Religions: Oregon verses the Bhagwan Rajneesh; James T. Richardson, 31. Mundane Materialism: Economic Survival and Theological Evolution within Jesus Movement Groups; David Tabb Stewart and James T. Richardson, 32. Medicalization and Regulation of Deviant Religions: An Application of Conrad and Schneider’s Model; James T. Richardson and Mary White Stewart, 33. Religious Regulation and the Courts: The Judiciary’s Changing Role in Protecting Minority Religions from the Majoritarian Rule; John Wybraniec and Roger Finke

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