CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

The 2009 International Conference

Mainstreaming and Marginalization of Religious Movements

londonAn International Conference organized by
CESNUR and  The J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
in association with ISAR, The Office of Mayor - Salt Lake City Corporation, and The Suitter Axland Foundation.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 11-13 June 2009



9.30-12 / Session 1 — Plenary — Salt Lake City Council Chambers

Between Mainstreaming and Marginalization

Chair: Massimo INTROVIGNE

Michael W. HOMER (CESNUR U.S.A.) introduces Ralph BECKER, Mayor of Salt Lake City

Mainstreaming and Marginalization of Religious Movements
Eileen BARKER (London School of Economics and INFORM)

Mainstreaming of Esotericism as the West’s Third Religion
J. Gordon MELTON (ISAR) and Constance JONES (California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco)

Marginalizing Religion Through the Courts of Law: A Strange Case in Kazakhstan
James T. RICHARDSON (University of Nevada, Reno)

12-14 / Lunch (on your own)

14,30-16,30 / Session 2 — Room A

Unity and Contention Over Zion: Latter Day Saints and the Independence, Missouri Temple Lot

Chair: Clyde R. FORSBERG

The Independence, Missouri Temple Lot: A Photographic History
Alexander L. BAUGH (Brigham Young University)

The Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and the Quest to Build a Temple in Zion
R. Jean ADDAMS (University of Utah)

14,30-16,30 / Session 3 — Room B

After the Avatar’s Mahasamadhi: The Passing of Adi Da Samraj and the Challenges of Securing His Legacy and Growing a New Spiritual Tradition

Chair: Constance JONES

Shocking News, Wake-Up Calls and Spiritual Renewal
Michael Anthony COSTABILE (Adidam Midwest Center, Chicago)

Adidam, Controversy, and Ex-Members
James R. LEWIS (University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point)

Transcendental Realism and Radical Narrative in Adi Da Samraj’s The Orpheum
Askold SKALSKY (Hagerstown Community College)

The Rebirth of Sacred Art: Reflections on the Aperspectival Geometric Art of Adi Da Samraj
Gary J. COATES (Kansas State University, Manhattan)

14,30-16,30 / Session 4 — Room C

Mainstreaming and Marginalization of Esotericism and Magic

Chair: PierLuigi ZOCCATELLI

Popular Metaphysics in the Shaping of American Identity: The (Process) New Thought Movement as a Mainstream or Marginalized Phenomenon?
Philippe MURILLO (University of Paris III – Sorbonne)

To Die as a Rosy Cross: A Panacea?
Sébastien GREGOV (University Sorbonne, Paris IV)

Aliens and Atheism: The 'Central Raelian' Argument for the Non-existence of God
Morgan LUCK (Charles Sturt University)


FRIDAY JUNE 12, 2009

9-10,30 / Session 5 — Plenary — Salt Lake City Council Chambers

Mainstreaming and Marginalization Through Literature

Philip NOTARIANNI (Director, Utah Division of State History, Utah State Historical Society), presiding

 The Most Reverend John C. WESTER, Roman Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City, guest speaker

Oriana Fallaci, Mormonism and Anti-Mormonism
Michael W. HOMER (CESNUR U.S.A.)

New/Old Mormon Family Values: Italian Reactions to Big Love and Twilight


10,30-10,45 / Coffee Break

10,45-12,45 / Session 6 — Plenary — Salt Lake City Council Chambers

Recent Issues: Utah, Arizona and Texas Polygamy and the Law

Mario S. DePILLIS (University of Massachusetts), presiding and introducing

Panel with Ken CANNON, attorney; Michael W. HOMER, CESNUR U.S.A.; Rod PARKER, attorney; and Mark SHURTLEFF, Utah Attorney General

12,45-14 Lunch (on your own)

14-16 / Session 7 — Room A

George Leslie Mackay’s Mission to Formosa: Indigenized Gospel, Cult of Native/Christian Womanhood, Ancestor Worship, and the Contextualizing of Presbyterianism in Taiwan

Chair: Will BAGLEY

Mackay, Miscegenation, and Mormonism: Having the Courage or Lack Thereof to Cross the Color Line for Christ
Clyde R. FORSBERG (Aletheia University Tamsui, Taipei)

Portrait of Heathen/Bible Womanhood: Minnie Mackay, Aboriginal Converts to Christianity, and Victorian Female Association
Jane LEE (Aletheia University Tamsui, Taipei)

The Early Christian Encounter with Taiwanese Religious Culture
Chi-Rong CHEN (Aletheia University Tamsui, Taipei)

The Critical Line throughout the Scriptures: Life – Annotated in Witness Lee’s Recovery Version of the Bible
Shih-Hao LIN (Aletheia University Tamsui, Taipei)

14-16 / Session 8 — Room B

Religious Liberty, Marginalization, and Sexuality

Chair: James BEVERLEY

Islam and Incest: The Case of Incest in Turkish Society
Suat KOLUKIRIK and Huzeyfe ALKAN (University of Utah)

Italian Gay and Lesbian Believers: Fissiparous Belonging or Clash of Values?
Marco MORI (University of Milan)

Marginalizing Heterosexual Monogamous Marriage The Cultural and Legal Assault on the Christian Ideal
Jane WILLIAMS-HOGAN (Bryn Athyn College)

Religion and Politics in the U.S.: The Fluid Wall of Separation
Christine SCOTT (Brigham Young University, Provo)

14-16 / Session 9— Room C

Defending Mormonism

Chair: Craig L. FOSTER (Family History Library, Salt Lake City)

Panel with Van HALE (Radio Talk Show Host and Author), Louis MIDGLEY (Associate Editor of FARMS Review), Steven L. MAYFIELD (Independent Researcher), Michael R. OTTERSON (Managing Director of the LDS Church’s Public Affairs Department)

16-16,15 / Coffee Break

16,15-18 / Session 10 – Room A

Some Specific Mormon Issues

Chair: Greg THOMPSON

Modernity, Postmodernity and Mormonism
Iain IRVING (Queen’s University, Belfast)

Mormon Religiousness and the Enduring Significance of “Gathered” Communities
Rick PHILLIPS (University of North Florida, Jacksonville)

Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign: Confronting the Mormon Question
Craig L. FOSTER (Family History Library)

The Mormon Quest for the Presidency: Past Candidates and Future Perspectives
Newell BRINGHURST (College of the Sequoias, Emeritus)

Discussant: Armand MAUSS

16,15-18 / Session 11 — Room B

Mainstreaming and/or Marginalization of Paganism

Chair: Sébastien GREGOV

Built from Books: Literary Relationships to Contemporary Paganism
Chas S. CLIFTON (Colorado State University, Pueblo)

Religious Rights and Sacred Places: A Study of British Druids and Stonehenge
Michael T. COOPER (Trinity International University, Deerfield) - Stephen P. KENNEDY (Trinity Law School)

16,15-18 / Session 12 — Room C

The Impact of Recent European Court of Human Rights Decisions on Majority and Minority Religions in Eastern Europe

 Chair: Christine SCOTT

 Panel Discussion with Ekaterina ELBAKIAN  (Institute of Labor and Social Relations, Moscow), Liudmyla FYLYPOVYCH (Head of the Religious Processes in Ukraine), Hranush KHARATYAN  (Department for National Minorities and Religious Affairs, Republic of Armenia), Ringo RINGVEE (Department of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Republic of Estonia), Mikhail SITNIKOV (Independent Journalist, Editor, Credo; Member, Union of Journalist of Russia; International Association of Religious Freedom), W. Cole DURHAM (Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University)

16,15-18 / Session 13 — Room D

New Religious Movements Between Mainstreaming and Marginalization – I

Chair: James R. LEWIS

True Children of True Parents: The Triumphs and Travails of the Children of Sun Myung Moon
James BEVERLEY (Tyndale Theological Seminary)

The Scientology Critic Group Anonymous: A Research Paper
John Bowen BROWN (Approaches to Education, Inc)

Impact of Ultra-Spiritual Theologies on Society: Both Threats and Benefits
Shirley PAULSON (SpiritualityandChristianity.com)



9-11 / Session 14 — Room A

Utah, Arizona and Texas Polygamy: Historical Issues

Peter H. DeLAFOSSE (University of Utah Press), presiding and introducing

Panel Discussion with Martha BRADLEY (University of Utah), Cardell JACOBSON (Brigham Young University), Michael MARQUARDT (Independent Historian), William McKINNON (Independent Historian) and Carmon HARDY (California State University)

9-11 / Session 15 — Room B

Globalization, Mainstreaming and Marginalization


Religious Bricolage in Iran: A Case Study of “Iran Reiki” Class
Shirin GHOLAMIZADEH BEHBAHANI (University of Strasbourg)

Buddhism in Salt Lake City: A Doorway to the first American Buddhist Census
J. Gordon MELTON (ISAR) and Constance JONES (California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco)

Ethics of Inter-Religious Dialogue
Mohammad Sadegh ZAHEDI (Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin)

Religion Among Chinese Immigrants to Torino, Italy

9-11 / Session 16 — Room C

New Religious Movements Between Mainstreaming and Marginalization – II


From 'Cults' to Cultures: Bridges as a Case Study in a New Evangelical Paradigm on New Religions
John W. MOREHEAD (Western Institute for Intercultural Studies, Salt Lake City)

The Falun Gong Self-Immolation Video: Framing, De-Framing
Mei ZHOU (University of Southern California, Los Angeles)

Between Rhetoric and Sensationalism: Coverage of Falun Gong in Western Media
Leeshai LEMISH (Independent Scholar, New York)

11-11,15 / Coffee Break

11,15-13 / Session 17 — Room A

Mainstreaming and Marginalization of Movements in/from the Middle East

Chair: Ringo RINGVEE

The Nur Movement in Turkey and Internationally
Hakan YAVUZ (University of Utah)

Fethullah Gülen Movement’s Call for Moral Guidance in Contemporary Society
Fabio VICINI (SUM - Italian Institute for Human Sciences, Siena)

Accusations Against Baha'is Within the Context of Islamic Heresiography
Susan MANECK (Jackson State University)

11,15-13 / Session 18 — Room B

Mainstreaming and/or Marginalization in Mormon History

Chair: Joanne MILNER

Apples and Oranges: What Was Different About Mormon Violence in American West?
Will BAGLEY (Independent Scholar, Salt Lake City)

Bountiful and Controversial: The Saga of Canadian Polygamy
James BEVERLEY (Tyndale Theological Seminary)

Building an Organization: Mormon Fundamentalists and the Creation of New Sects
Christopher James BLYTHE (Utah State University)

11,15-13 / Session 19 — Room C

Issues of Religious Freedom Throughout the World

Chair: Eileen BARKER

Aumism and the European Court of Human Rights: A Case Study of Avoidance
James T. RICHARDSON (University of Nevada, Reno)

State-Sanctioned Raids and Issues of Religious Freedom: The 1984 Island Pond Raid and the 2008 FLDS Raid
Jean SWANTKO WISEMAN (Attorney, Chattanooga, Tennessee)

13-14,30 / Lunch (on your own)

14,30-17 / Field Trip: Salt Lake’s Diverse Religious Heritage

Participants will visit the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine (historical landmark celebrating its 100th anniversary), and other non-Mormon religious centers. Alternatively, self-guided tours of Temple Square would be available at the same time. The Family History Library will also welcome the participants for a short tour of the library and hands-on research guidance with professional genealogists.

18-20,30 / Banquet at The Alta Club (100 E South Temple)
Presiding: Massimo Introvigne
Remarks and Introduction: Dan Johnson (Chevron Corporation)
Speaker: Robert S. Wood (Second Quorum of the Seventy, Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Special Recognitions: Michael W. Homer (CESNUR USA)