If the interactions of major religions with their surrounding societies have often been studied, those of new religious movements (NRMs) or of minority religions have often mostly been viewed in a negative light. We would like to examine how NRMs (including those born in the 19th century) and older religions which recently moved outside of their traditional context contribute positively to societies, and how they engage with the world outside their own community through the obligations dictated by their particular moral and spiritual teachings.
For example, the Adventists have perfected humanitarian aid logistics; the doctrinal interdiction of Jehovah’s Witnesses to receive blood transfusion has led medical scientists to develop blood substitutes; the doctrinal obligation of Latter-day Saints to baptize the dead has inspired them to master the techniques of genealogical research and offer their expertise to the whole world… and so on. As usual, we will also devote time to studying the global movements denying that NRMs have anything positive to contribute to society, and their renewed use of the anti-cult brainwashing rhetoric in different parts of the world.
The last day of the conference will be devoted to a one-day field trip to the Vézère Valley in Dordogne-Périgord, east of Bordeaux. We will visit one of the first Tibetan Buddhist settlements in the West, the Côte de Jor Buddhist line, above the world-famous prehistorical sites of the Magdeleine and the Moustiers. We will spend time with the Dhagpo Kagyu Ling community.
A few kilometers away, in Montignac, we will visit the world heritage Lascaux IV Cave. Those who have already visited it, however, will skip the Lascaux Cave and visit instead the nearby unique Renaissance Château de Losse overlooking the Vézère river and its sumptuous park. Its previous landlady was Nhu May, Princess of Annam (Vietnam).
Paper submission deadline: January 16, 2024
Registration deadline: April 22, 2024
Publication of the final program: April 29, 2024
Papers and session proposals should be submitted by E-mail before the close of business on January 16, 2024, to firstname.lastname@example.org, accompanied by an abstract of no more than 300 words and a CV of no more than 200 words. PhD students should attach a letter of support from their advisor.