New Religions

Emerging Faiths and Religious Cultures in the Modern World

by Eugene V. Gallagher and Lydia Willsky-Ciollo


The Bahá'í Faith; Rastafari; Scientology; Soka Gokkai: just a few of the many religious movements that came about in the last 200 years.

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Cover image for New Religions

October 2020


Pages 863
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/General
  World History/Religion
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A valuable resource for students and general audiences, this book provides a unique global perspective on the history, beliefs, and practices of emergent faith communities, new religious traditions and movements worldwide, from the 19th century to the present.

New Religions: Emerging Faiths and Religious Cultures in the Modern World provides insightful global perspectives on the emergent faith communities and new traditions and movements of the last two centuries. Readers will gain access to the information necessary to explore the significance, complexities, and challenges that modern religious traditions have faced throughout their history and continue to impact society today. The work identifies the themes and issues that have often brought them into conflict with the larger societies of which they are a part.

Coverage includes new religions that emerged in America, such as the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Latter-Day Saints, and the Jehovah's Witnesses; alternative communities around the globe that emerged from the major Western and Eastern traditions, such as Aum Shinrikyo and Al Qaeda; and marginalized groups that came to a sudden end, such as the People's Temple, Heaven's Gate, and the Branch Davidians. The entries highlight thematic and broader issues that run across the individual religious traditions, and will also help students analyze and assess the common difficulties faced by emergent religious communities.


  • Presents alphabetically arranged entries on new religions that provide readers with easy-to-access, historical information about how these religions emerged from their cultural contexts and evolved over time
  • Provides numerous primary source documents—each introduced by a headnote—that convey firsthand accounts of the founding of new religions and supply students material for critical analysis
  • Includes photographs that help students better visualize important places, people, and things related to new religions
  • Helps meet world history content standards and enables a fuller understanding of religious beliefs and practices in the contemporary world as well as how religions have responded to challenges and uncertainties
Author Info

Eugene V. Gallagher is Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus at Connecticut College. He has taught a wide range of courses and his previous books include The Religious Studies Skills Book, Reading and Writing Scripture in New Religious Movements, and The New Religious Movements Experience in America. His has published in such journals as History of Religions and Nova Religio.

Lydia Willsky-Ciollo is assistant professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University. She has also taught at Whittier College and Connecticut College. She is the author of American Unitarianism and the Protestant Dilemma and her work has appeared in Nova Religio, New England Quarterly, and other journals.

Other Titles of Interest

Evangelical America cover imageGreat Events in Religion cover imageSacred Texts Interpreted cover image
Islam cover imageIntroduction to New and Alternative Religions in America cover imageThe New Religious Movements Experience in America cover image

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