New Religious Movements

New religious movements (NRM’s, as they are called) are a subject of great interest and much studied. In part this is because they are often linked to cults and so capture the fear and curiosity of the general public. We often forget that all religions were a new religious movement at some point in their history. The topic is also somewhat blurred by the fact that a new Buddhist movement (such as the Shinnyo-en portrayed in this film) might be a new organization, but insofar as it is a Buddhist organization it needs to be put in the context of the tradition as well as studied for whatever it has that is actually “new.” Needless to say, organizations such as the Shinnyo-en do not consider themselves a new religion at all, but rather emphasize their connection to Buddhist tradition.

Center for Studies on New Religions

The Religious Movements Homepage Project@The University of Virginia

Hartford Institute for Religion Research

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