CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

The 2011 International Conference

New Religion in a Globalized East: Taiwan, Southeast Asia, the World

torinoThe 2011 CESNUR Conference, co-organized by Aletheia University,
ISAR (Institute for the Study of American Religion),
and the International Association for the Study of New Religions

Aletheia University,
Danshui (Taipei), Taiwan, June 21-23


Tuesday June 21, 2011

10,30-13 / Session 1 – Plenary

The Challenges of Religious Pluralism

Welcome by Academic Authorities

Presiding and Introducing: J. Gordon MELTON

Learning about New Religions in the West by Learning about New Religions in the East
Eileen BARKER (London School of Economics)

George Leslie Mackay, Masculinity, and the Making of an Imperial Missionary
Clyde R. FORSBERG (Aletheia University, Taiwan)

Pope Benedict XVI and Religious Liberty. Separating Fact from Fiction

Globalization and Religious Encounters: Older Religious Traditions Meet Newer Traditions in Dalarna, Sweden
Liselotte FRISK (Dalarna University, Falun)

13-15 / Lunch (on your own)

15-17,30 / Parallel Sessions

15-17,30 / Session 2

“New” New Religious Movements East and West

Chair: Eileen BARKER

Korea’s Won Buddhism: Is It Really a New Religion?
Donald BAKER (University of Washington)

New New Religions in Canada
James A. BEVERLEY (Tyndale Seminary, Toronto)

Third Millennium NRMs in Britain
George CHRYSSIDES (University of Birmingham)

“Skeletons into Goddesses”: Creating a New New Religious Movement, the Case of the Pro-Ana and Anamadim
Beth SINGLER (Cambridge University)

New Religious Currents in America: A Case Study in the Southeast
Benjamin E. ZELLER (Brevard College)

15-17,30 / Session 3

Creating Narratives for New Spiritualities

Chair: Liselotte FRISK

Creating a New Reality Science Fiction and Soteriology in New Spiritualities
Carole M. CUSACK (University of Sydney)

Animation as Salvation: How Soulbonders Find the Spiritual in New Narratives
Venetia ROBERTSON (University of Sydney)

Readers, Believers, Consumers and Audiences: Complicating the Relationship between Consumption and Contemporary Narrative Spiritualities
Danielle KIRBY (University of Queensland)

Wednesday June 22, 2011

10,30-13 / Parallel Sessions

10,30-13 / Session 4

Esotericism Old and New

Chair: PierLuigi ZOCCATELLI

The Challenge of the Queen of Sheba: The Hidden Matriarchy in the Ancient East
Marzia COLTRI (University of Birmingham)

Esoteric Networks in 20th Century Vietnam: from Colonial Eurasian Confluences to Globalized Innovations in Postcoloniality
Pascal BOURDEAUX (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris)

Neo-Paganism in Greece: Nationalist and Pluralist Rhetoric in the Battle Against the State-sponsored Greek Orthodox Church
Evangelos VOULGARAKIS (Chih Lee Institute of Science and Technology, Taiwan)

10,30-13 / Session 5

Authority and Miraculous Experience: The True Jesus Church in China and Overseas

Chair: Clyde R. FORSBERG

Miraculous Mundane: The True Jesus Church and 20th Century Chinese Christianity
Melissa INOUYE WEI-TSING (Harvard University)

Everyday Miracles: The Extraordinary Life within the True Jesus Church
Jiexia ZHAI (Miami University) - J. Gordon MELTON (ISAR, Santa Barbara)

Autochthonous and Multicultural: Borrowed Beliefs and Boundary-Keeping in the True Jesus Church
David REED (University of Toronto)

Discussants: Yen-zen TSAI (National Chengchi University, Taiwan) and Joseph H.K. CHOU (Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan)

10,30-13 / Session 6

New Trends in/from Islam and Christianity

Chair: Carole M. CUSACK

Baha’i and Subud Dissent: Developments in the 2000’s
Dawei BEI (Hsuan Chuang University, Taiwan)

Closing the Gates: The Reassertion of Delimited Pluralism in Indonesia since 2005
Julia HOWELL (University of Western Sydney)

How Physics Affects Metaphysics and Religion in the History of Western Thought
John Cheng WAI-LEUNG (Fu Jen University, Taiwan)

Michael Servetus and Mary Baker Eddy: from the Power of Self-service to the Power of Serving Others
Shirley PAULSON (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston)

10,30-13,00 / Session 7

The Unification Church: A New Religion Coming of Age

Chair: Eileen BARKER

"As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen": A Review of the Autobiography of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon
George CHRYSSIDES (University of Birmingham)

Update on the Succession Struggle in the Moon Family
James BEVERLEY (Tyndale Seminary, Toronto)

Recent Developments on Deprogramming in Japan (2011)
Dan FEFFERMAN (International Coalition for Religious Freedom, USA) and Toru GOTO (Unification Church, Tokyo)

"Lost Youth" Compensation Cases and their Relation to Forced Conversion in Japan
Shunsuke UOTANI (Universal Peace Federation, Tokyo)

13-15 / Lunch (on your own)

15-17,30 / Parallel Sessions

15-17,30 / Session 8

Missions and Pluralism in Asia

Chair: Chris HARTNEY

Christian Mission in Asia and the Rejection or Acceptance of Traditional Religious Belief and Practice: The Case of Protestant Taiwan and Catholic Cebu Island in the Philippines
Chirong CHEN (Dean of Humanities, Aletheia University, Taiwan)

Asian Indigenous Christianity
Pierre VENDASSI (University of Bordeaux Segalen)

The Black Bearded Bible Man: Flagship Opera from Taiwan as Formosan Epic, Emblem, and Enigma
Llyn SCOTT (Aletheia University, Taiwan)

Modern Orientalists: Buddhism, Religious Pluralism, and Interfaith Social Cooperation in the Eyes of Rival Missionary Groups in Taiwan
Evangelos VOULGARAKIS (Chih Lee Institute of Science and Technology, Taiwan)

Immigration and the Reformed Buddhism: the Resurgence of Buddhism in Modern Asia
Huang WEISHAN (Max Planck Institute, Göttingen)

15-17,30 / Session 9

New/Old New Religions: The Mormons, the Lubavitchers and Beyond

Chair: Massimo INTROVIGNE

The Eastern Smiths: Ancestor Worship in Mormonism and Taiwan
Clyde R. FORSBERG (Aletheia University, Taiwan)

“Embraced by the Light”: The Continuing Discussion Concerning the Connections between Freemasonry and Mormonism
Michael W. HOMER (Utah State Historical Society)

Identities in a 21st Century Global Shteti: Group Unity and Border Marking with Digital Technologies Among the Chabad-Lubavitcher Hasidim of Australia and Beyond
Simon THEOBALD (University of Sydney)

15-17,30 / Session 10

New and “New New” Religious Movements: Perspectives from Insiders and Outsiders

Chair: Constance JONES

Narratives of Exploration and Discovery: New Religious Movements and the Spiritual Marketplace of Rishikesh
Alex NORMAN (University of Sydney)

The “Re-Africanisation” of the Brazilian Religion Candomblé and the Holy War against the African Orixás (gods) in Brazil
Bettina E. SCHMIDT (University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter)

The Hidden Manna and the Philosophy of Eternal Life – Based on the Perspective of Prophecies in Sacred Books
Gang-Hyen HAN (Deokseon Women College, Seoul)

The Beauty of Belief and Place: On the Family International in Taiwan
Daniel TARPY (Taipei, Taiwan)

Behind, Beside and Beyond Religion - Spirituality, Sexuality, Psychotherapy and Alternative Therapies: Problems Related to State Regulations
Alessandro AMICARELLI (University of Urbino)

15-18,30 / Session 11

New Religious Movements in Korea: The Old and the New
(in co-operation with the Korean Academy of New Religions)

Chair: Julia HOWELL

From Internalization to Localization:  A Comparative Study on Baha’i Faith and Unification Church in Korea
Shin AHN (Pai Chai University, Korea)

A Characteristic of Korean New Religion  in View of the Thought and Scripture: The Case of Daesoonjinrihoe
Gyung-Won LEE (Daejin University, Korea) and Nam-Sik KO (Daejin University, Korea)

Symptoms of the Religious Conflicts and its Resolution in the Multi-Cultural Korean Society - Based upon the Pluralism of Won-Buddhism
Kwang-Soo PARK (Wonkwang University, Korea)

The Korean New Religious Movements from the Perspective of Theodicy Types
Hang-Je KIM (Sunmoon University, Korea)

The Life Culture of Korean New Religions as an Alternative to Overcome the Suicide Culture
Eungtae JO (Sun Moon University, Korea)

A Study of the Impact of Korean War on the Formation of New Religions
Pyun-Seung YANG (Sunmoon University, Korea)

19 / Banquet – Hotel RegaLees

Presiding and Introducing: Clyde FORSBERG

Confessions of a Reluctant Diplomat: My Mandate as OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe)’s Representative on Combating Religious Intolerance and Discrimination

Thursday June 23, 2011

10,30-13 / Session 12 – Plenary

Presiding and Introducing: Eileen BARKER

New New Religions in North America: The Swaminarayan Family of Religions
J. Gordon MELTON (ISAR, Santa Barbara)

From Quackers to Kidneys: The New-new Faith of the Jesus Christians
Chris HARTNEY (University of Sydney)

Dissemination of Asian Religions in the United States: Creating a Census for Hindu and Buddhist Organizations in the 21st Century
Constance A. JONES (California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco)

How Traditional Are the “Traditionalist” Catholics? – Reflections on a Research

Asian Religions in the West: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Monastery in France: Plum Village
Bernadette RIGAL-CELLARD (University of Bordeaux)


Post-Conference Tour: The Religious Heritage of Taiwan

The cost of the tour is of Euro 200, to be paid in addition to the registration conference fee.

Thursday, June 23th

Driving to Madou and stopping briefly in Hsinchu and Taichung to see: 

1. The newly constructed Giant Laughing Buddha in Hsinchu County (a 72m-tall bronze statue of the Maitreya Bodhisattva and one of four in Taiwan) 

2. The Giant Buddha and Zen Buddhist Temple in Taichung (further south) 

3. The Giant Buddha of Baguashanon and massive temple overlooking Changhua City (30 minutes south of Taichung)

Arriving at hotel around 8 pm or 9 pm for a late supper.

Friday, June 24th

A full day divided equally between the following: 

4. Presbyterian Northern Synod Seminary in Tainan

5. Grand Matzu Temple in Tainan (for some color) http://www.tainanmazu.org.tw 
Return to hotel for the night.

Saturday, June 25th

Devoted exclusiving to the (6.) Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery (pictured on the CESNUR conference call for papers) near Kaohsiung on the south-west coast of Taiwan, another of the Taiwanese Giant Buddhas but also a “Buddhist Home Stay Centre.” Some idea of what we’re in for at Taiwan’s best known and most famous Zen Buddhist Monastery: 
“...lush trees and flowers ... cool colonnades and pagoda roofs, Fo Guang Shan is ... the perfect place for Buddhist Zen, regardless of creed. Little disturbs the peace but bird song and barking frogs on the edge of the ponds. Sunsets light up the giant Buddha on the hill top, a great spot to reflect and gaze towards the mountains across the Kaoping river. At dawn, monks and nuns make their way to the main shrine for morning chant. The shrine has three large Buddhas on the altar, 14 800 little ones around the walls and more in the illuminated pagodas. Guests are welcome to attend the morning chant and for those who wish to take the Zen experience a step further, Fo Guang Shan offers meditation retreats from time to time.”
Top Things to Do in Fo Guang Shan:

- Join a calligraphy class in the Sutra Hall, practising concentration and body posture to achieve perfect brush strokes. Trace over the characters, slowly and in silence.

- Wander around the startling Pure Land Cave, depicting Ultimate Bliss. There are talking birds and heavenly maidens, lotus ponds and candles floating on a stream. Based on holy texts, it’s a fantasy world designed to educate in a colourful way.

- Visit the Museum of Fo Guang Shan history, with its aerial map revealing the whole complex and the five peaks on which it is built, and the Cultural Exhibition Hall where artists can display their work free of charge.

- Make a wish at the Great Vow Shrine, a popular spot for devotees who strike the good luck bell three times, praying for peace and good fortune.

Return to hotel for the night.

Sunday, June 26th

Leave hotel and return to Taipei/Danshui mid-afternoon.

For those not participating in the post-conference tour, a one-day visit to local attractions may be organized. Arrangements will be made during the conference.



CESNUR will not handle accommodations. Hotel RegaLees is a first-rate hotel located at 5 minutes by cab from the premises of the conference, and it is where our banquet will be held. La Flower Sea Resort is at walking distance from the conference premises and it is simpler and less expensive. On a first come – first served basis some very cheap accommodations in the university’s dorms may be available. They close at 11 p.m. and are quite simple. Those interested should e-mail Clyde Forsberg at clydeforsberg4@msn.com.