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New Religious Movements

Many religious sites on the web deal with what are commonly called "cults."  There are many misconceptions about these religious communities and the dynamics of joining and leaving such groups.  Several sociologists of religion have very good sites and articles devoted to educating the public about new religious movements.  This section contains links to what we consider to be the best of these sites.  We also provide several articles on the topic.

Sites about New Religious Movements, Sects and Cults 

New Religious Movements Page
A site created by Jeff Hadden who was a professor at  University of Virginia.  Hadden's students had compiled extensive information on a diverse collection of religious groups.   These descriptions contain generally accurate  descriptions of these groups, with links to their web sites and writings.  Several of Hadden's lecture notes from his course on new religious movements are also archived online including a brief article titled "Why Study New Religious Movements." Visit these other links as well for more information:

"Cult" Group Controversy Material  
Related to the study of NRM's, Sects and Cults, this section gives a brief description of the controversy surrounding cults and provides links to articles and additional information.

Group Profiles, Links & Info
A listing of religious groups with links to profiles that include basic information about the groups, links to further information and available print resources.

New Religious Movements Course Materials
A syllabus and lecture notes for Jeffrey Hadden's course on New Religious Movements.

Sources for the Study of Cults Sects and New Religions
Irving Hexham of the University of Calgary has a fine comprehensive collection of resources and links on New Religious Movements (NRM's)

Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR)
An international network of associations of scholars in the new religious movements field. It features a library of an assortment of selected texts chosen for their scholarly interest and future CESNUR activities. CESNUR aims to promote scholarly research in specialized contemporary religious fields including: religious minorities, new religious movements, contemporary esoteric, spiritual and Gnostic schools, and in the endorsement of new religious consciousness and awareness in general.

SSSR Resolution on New Religious Group

Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance 
Many essays on a variety of religious groups; includes bibliographies.  This site attempts to give a balanced explanation of the practices of many different belief systems. 

Academic Info:  New Religious Movements
Part of a larger, well-organized religion site, this section includes annotated links to mega-sites and to sites for a number of NRM's.

Nova Religio - The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religion
Nova Religio is a journal published both online and in print four times a year.  This site will allow you to purchase individual articles, issues, or volumes or download free articles.

Ports of Entry: The Web Office Of Douglas E. Cowan
Douglas Cowan, professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City, is creating an excellent resource of NRM's and the counter-cult movement.  He has extensive information on many new religious movements on his site and will soon post additional resources and articles there.

Cultwatch: A look at cults in America by the
Institute for the Study of American Religion
Provides a pervasive collection of information on the cult population in America.    

New Religious Movements Supplementary Bibliography
A partially annotated bibliographical directory new religious movements texts: neo-Asian, neo-Christian, nature religion, Native American, neo-pagan, new age human potential-healing, conversion, African American, feminist perspectives, political tensions, and economic approaches.

Academic listing of sites about of new religions
Listing of professional and academic organizations, mailing lists, journals and web sites devoted to the promotion of new religious movements and general religion research.

Center for Millennial Studies at BU

Journal of Millennial Studies
An online journal, biannually published by the Center for Millennial Studies.

The Institute for the Study of American Religion 
The Institute for the Study of American Religion located in Santa Barbara, California "monitors all of the religious denominations, organizations, and movements functioning in North America and regularly publishes reports drawing from that activity in a series of reference books."  Its information and data on the many new and more controversial religious movements can be found in the Local Cult Group Information section. 

American Academy of Religion New Religious Movements Group
This program is founded by the American Academy of Religion and "seeks to enhance understanding of alternative, emergent, or new religious movements (NRMs) past and present."

Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples

The Jonestown Report - August 2003
New information and updates to the web site

On the Psychology of Spiritual Movements

Apologetics Index
This site by Anton Hein is one of the more well-known conservative Christian oriented anti-cult sites. It has an extensive collection of material, presented from the point of view that claims that most of the new religious movements are evil and destructive based on a conservative Christian orthodoxy.  

An additional listing of similar sites can be found at the end of Douglas Cowen's online article at http://www.cesnur.org/2001/london2001/cowan.htm 

Articles About New Religious Movements, Cults and Sects  

General Articles on New Religious Movements

Case Studies on Religions and Movements

Articles on Religious Liberty, Anti-Cult Movements, Brainwashing

A listing of articles on Scientology

CENSUR - Texts and Docs
This page offers a wide range of articles about new religious movements which are listed thematically. 

Ammerman, Nancy
Waco, Federal Law Enforcement, and Scholars of Religion*
Reprinted from ARMAGEDDON IN WACO (Buy it now) published by the University of Chicago, copyright© 1995 by The University of Chicago.

*This file appear in .pdf format.  If you do not have
Adobe Acrobat, click the icon to download.

Report to the Justice and Treasury Departments on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas

Barker, Eileen
Watching for Violence:  A Comparative Analysis of the Roles of Five Types of Cult-Watching Groups

Brasher, Brenda
Women at the End of the World: Christian Fundamentalist Millenarianism As An Engendering Machine 

Cowan, Douglas E.
From Parchment to Pixels: The Christian Countercult on the Internet

Hadden, Jeffrey

The Introduction to The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America
with David Bromley, contains an excellent discussion of the terms New Religious Movement, cult, and sect as they are understood by sociologists of religion.  Buy it now

Conceptualizing "Anti-Cult" and "Counter-Cult"

Why Do People Join NRMs? Social Science Models   

The Anti-Cult Movement

Joining Religious Movements: The Brainwashing Model

Hall, Deana
Managing to recruit: religious conversion in the workplace

From Sociology of Religion, September 5, 2000 

Kaplan, Jeffrey
The Politics of Rage: Militias and the Future of the Far Right

Nielsen, Michael
Society and New Religious Movements

Shupe, Anson
The Reconstructionist Movement on the New Christian Right

Spalding, John D. 
Bonding in the Bleachers: A Visit to the Promise Keepers




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