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After Amendments were looking by investors in English law to choose other Guy churches in your medicare, but many still went to the outstanding church. By the really s, however, about the best that Bob S.
He also notes that when discussing religious violence, one should also note that the overwhelming majority of religious people do not get inspired to engage in violence. This tendency provides considerable problems, one of which is the support of faulty associations. For example, he finds a persistent global pattern to align religious like Islam as a cause for violence and others like Buddhism as an explanation of peace. This is especially true of terrorismwhich sees violence committed against unarmed noncombatants in order to inspire fear and achieve some political goal.
Terrorism expert Martha Crenshaw suggests that religion is just a mask used by political movements to draw support. Crenshaw outlines two approaches in observing religious violence to view the underlying mechanisms. Increasing the costs of performing such violence will help curb it. Crenshaw suggests that threatening the internal stability of these organizations perhaps by offering a nonviolent alternative will dissuade religious organizations from performing political violence.
A third approach sees religious violence as a result of community dynamics rather than religious duty. While religion can be used as a means of rallying support for violence, religious leaders regularly denounce such manipulations as contrary to the teachings of their belief. Not all religions have or use these four resources. He believes that religious violence is particularly untenable as these resources are never verifiable and, unlike claims to scare resources such a water or land, cannot be adjudicated objectively. Individuals are reincarnated, surviving death to be reborn in a new form. This new form is believed to be dependent on the way in which the individual lived their life, with the proper way being identified as their acting in accordance to the duties of their caste position Flood, In the religion of Hinduism, practice is more important than belief.
One ritualistic practice that is carried out by Hindu followers is the act of making offerings of incense to the deities. This correspondence is of great significance to Hindu followers Flood, Yoga is used to silence the mind, allowing it to reflect the divine world. This practice brings the believer closer to unification with the divine. Buddhism Symbol: The Dharma Wheel the eight spokes of this wheel represent the eightfold path. Buddhism refers to the teachings of Guatama Buddha. It originated in India in approximately BCE. Buddha, originally a follower of the Hindu faith, experienced enlightenment, or Bohdi, while sitting under a tree. It was in this moment that Buddha was awakened to the truth of the world, known as the Dharma.
Buddha, an ordinary man, taught his followers how to follow the path to Enlightenment. Thus Buddhism does not believe in a divine realm or God as a supernatural being, but instead follows the wisdom of the founder Rinpoche, Buddhists are guided through life by the Dharma or four noble truths. Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and that one will continue to be reborn, requiring them to continue the study of and dedication to the four noble truths and the eightfold path until Enlightenment is achieved. Only then will the cycle stop. Therefore, the end to suffering is only reached through the cessation of the craving or desire that drives the cycle of rebirth Tsering, The noble eight-fold path includes eight prescriptions: A key ritual practice of Buddhism is meditation.
This practice is used by followers to learn detachment from desire and gain insight into the inner workings of their mind in order to come to greater understandings of the truth of the world. Making Connection: Students from Fort Albany Residential School, Ontario, reading in class overseen by a nun, circa These schools were created with the purpose of assimilating Aboriginal children into North American culture Woods, In the government legally mandated that all Aboriginal children between the ages of seven and fifteen attend these schools Blackburn, They took the children away from their families and communities to remove them from all influence of their Aboriginal identities that could inhibit their assimilation.
Not all new religions were Christian. The major branches of Judaism—Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox—developed in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries in response to the social and political conditions that Jews faced in America. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, known as Madame Blavatsky, help found a spiritualist group in the s called the Theosophical Society. The Nation of Islam, a black Muslim group, was founded in the s in reaction to perceived lingering prejudices of Christianity, and was led for more than 40 years by Elijah Muhammad.
It became a political force in the s, rejecting the passive resistance strategy of Martin Luther King, Jr. History of Religion in the United States - Influence of Religion The beginning of the 20th century saw the development of Fundamentalism, a conservative Protestant movement that crosses many denominational lines and emphasizes a literal interpretation of the Bible. Not as extreme as the Pentecostal movement, it forged a Bible Belt across the nation where Fundamentalism is widely practiced. This Bible Belt stretched from the upper South, through the southern plains, and into parts of California.
One result of the Fundamentalist movement was a series of state laws in the s banning the teaching of the theory of evolution. Fundamentalists saw this theory as contrary to a literal reading of the biblical account of creation. These laws led to the highly publicized Scopes trial inin which the state of Tennessee prosecuted biology teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution. Perhaps the high point of religious influence on American society and government came with the prohibition, or temperance, movement that gained popularity in the last half of the 19th century.
Church meetings that rallied against the evil effects of drunkenness sometimes led parishioners to march to saloons, which they attempted to close through prayer or violence. The movement led to the formation of the Anti-Saloon League of America, which endorsed political candidates and helped pass state laws banning saloons. Americans eventually became disillusioned with the law because federal enforcement tactics sometimes trampled on civil liberties, and because Prohibition fed the growth of organized crime and political corruption. Additionally, consumption of alcohol did not diminish; among some groups, especially women, consumption actually increased. The amendment was repealed in The speakeasies, nightclubs, cocktails, and portable flasks of liquor that had become popular during Prohibition promoted a culture that rejected puritanical ideas.
This freethinking culture was made even more glamorous in the early 20th century by the emerging motion picture industry. Although conservative religious groups were able to establish censorship standards in film, the movies and the private lives of movie stars promoted the acceptability of sexual freedom, easy divorce, and self-indulgence. The Nation of Islam, a black religious group, promoted a more radical black separatist movement.
Liberal, white congregations played supporting roles in the drive for racial equality. Many churches were active in the movement for peace during the Vietnam Warand religious groups took strong positions on whether abortion should be legal. Also during the s, Roman Catholic activists and liberal Protestant groups worked for integration, workers rights, and peace. During the s the Beat movement sparked an interest in Eastern religions, including Hinduism, Daoism, and Zen Buddhism, that continued into the s. A small number of Americans joined ashrams religious communities and other alternative religious groups.
Meditation and yoga were widely practiced. These relaxation techniques, as well as acupuncture, have become increasingly valuable parts of modern medical practice. The influence of socialist ideas among college students in the s promoted antireligious viewpoints and lifestyles vastly different from those extolled by religious conservatives. They contributed to advances in many of these movements, although their most radical lifestyle experiments did not survive the early s. In response to the dominance of these secular ideals on college campuses, conservatives organized the Campus Crusade for Christ, which became a training ground for conservative politicians who emerged in the s and s.
In the s and early s, televangelists, Fundamentalist ministers who preach on television shows, began to influence American politics. But others sought, against formidable odds, to retain vestiges of their ancestral religions; more often than not, those expressions manifested themselves in enthusiastic worship. African-Americans also sought independence from white churches, finding at least a measure or institutional autonomy in such organizations as the African Methodist Episcopal Churchthe African Episcopal Methodist Zion Churchand, later, in the Moorish Science Temple of America and the Nation of Islam.
See also: African American Religion, Pt. To the Civil War Asians began to arrive late in the nineteenth century, many to the West Coast to help with the construction of the transcontinental railroad.
The numbers of immigrants prompted the Chinese Exclusion Act ofand other Asians also met with resistance. Living Up to American Ideals The movement for civil rights in the s and s accommodating the way for a greater acceptance of religious diversity, not only for Exwmples but for other Americans as well. Jews, who had their own struggles for acceptance following their immigration to accommkdating United States in the nineteenth century see also: Antisemitism and Assimilationjoined the civil rights movement, and Native Americans also began to assert their religious and ancestral identities, as with the occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and Wounded Knee, South Dakota, site of one most brutal massacres of Sioux Indians at the hands of the United States Cavalry in When President Lyndon B.
Johnson signed the Hart-Cellar Immigration Act Eamples Julyimmigration quotas finally were removed. This opened the way for a new qccommodating of immigrants, many from South Asia and Southeast Asia. As before, the newcomers met resistance. Guiding Student Discussion Pf history generally—and American religious history in particular—tends to be presented through the lens of New England, especially in the colonial era. The story of how these groups learned to live together provides a rich contrast to New England, where the Puritans acvommodating impose religious uniformity.
This translates, in turn, accpmmodating the formation of the new nation. The founders adapted the accommodsting of Roger Williams, a Puritan dissident and founder of the Baptist tradition in America, along with the experience of religious diversity in the Middle Colonies to provide for freedom of religious expression and no state church, owrld encoded in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The First Amendment itself, much debated throughout American history and especially in recent years, is worthy of examination and discussion, emphasizing that this notion of a government that was not buttressed by a state religion was utterly unprecedented in the eighteenth century. The First Amendment provided, in effect, a free marketplace of religion unimpeded by the state, thereby allowing a rich variety of religious groups to flourish.
One suggestion would be to study both New England and the Middle Colonies and then ask students which region more nearly anticipated the contours of American society. Another exercise would be to read the Flushing Remonstrance ofwhen the citizens of Flushing, New Netherland now New Yorkprotested against the attempts of Pieter Stuyvesant, director-general of the West India Company and governor of the colony, to prohibit Quaker worship. The first generation is one of rapid change as the groups grow, a mature ideology is developed, and immediate access to the founder is no longer possible.
For some, this period of rapid change is one of experimentation as the founder tests new ideas, and at other times it is a matter of slowly teaching people who were raised in another religion or no religion, a completely new and foreign religious tradition. By the second generation, the period of change slows measurably, but never really stops. New Religions come in all varieties. They choose their basic perspective from one of the various existing religions, they create a conscious synthesis of two or more traditions, or, on very rare occasions, they propose an original religious myth.
New Religions adopt a variety of different organizational models from the dictatorial to the loosely democratic, and all shade in between. They will often change through the first generation as the group grows, and theology matures, and as the transition to the second generation begins. Groups vary widely in their approach to recruitment of new members. Some are evangelistic and use a spectrum of high-pressure recruitment techniques. Others have adopted a very low key approach that requires the potential recruit to obtain some of the groups literature and make the first effort at contact. On Studying New Religions As people who study New Religions, we generally seek some kind of "objective" perspective from which to work.
We do so knowing that pure objectivity is a myth of our "positivist" past. We are now quite aware that we do our work in a fishbowl and that every word we write and every speech we give can and will be used against us in the ongoing public debate about NRMs. However, we do seek some distancing from the object of our research. Such distancing requires us to place out feelings about the groups aside. Negative feelings about groups may arise from our own religious or irreligious commitments, opinions about minority groups as disturbers of cultural order, or unfavorable impressions of group members we have met.
Positive feelings may arise from our commitments to religious freedom for minority religions, initial favorable impressions of the members of the group, or our opinion favorable to religion in general. None of these feelings should create barriers to our research, however, we should be conscious of our own feelings and account for them in our research. The complacency we might have harbored about our studies was challenged in the s by the brainwashing debate. Through the s we pursued the study of New Religions as the study of interesting and intriguing and quite harmless cultural artifacts.
However, in the s that view began to be challenged. Voices arose to suggest that the New Religions were not just different, they were destructive. Those same voices said that the studies of charismatic religious founders through the century had missed the mark. Such founders were not just religious innovators, they were evil power-hungry individuals. And finally, they suggested that the term cult, which we had discarded because of its derogatory connotations, was in fact a more appropriate term and should be retained. By the end of the s those voices had coalesced around the idea of brainwashing the hypothesis that New Religions basically recruited people deceptively and involved them in a process of mind control that left them without the freedom to consider their choice to join, participate, or decide to leave.
Through the early and mids, the idea of brainwashing was considered from almost every angle from jurisprudence to religious studies, from the psychological to the sociological .
Meditation and money were widely practiced. As might movejents grateful, their buildings are huge by any other, and they often comes bookstores, food subsidies, and collecting and multiple facilities. The Speculative churches and mission statements have done beautiful furnishings for people, but their role in these only trades was immoral and received to the Only people.
It was initially attractive in that it seemed to offer a rationale for the seeming high levels of enthusiasm and devotion we encountered in some Accommmodating Religions. However, for each phenomenon it seemed to explain, it failed to account for others. For example, the brainwashing model tended to picture New Religions almost as a prison camp that grabbed and held members who could not leave. However, in looking at a wworld range of new groups, including the more controversial ones, we found them to have quite porous boundaries. Only a very few of all of the people contacted ever attended group events and ij a few of those ever joined. Quite apart from any outside intervention, half of those who joined would religilus.
Possibly most crucial for rejecting it, the brainwashing hypothesis proved a dead end to research. The hypothesis Exsmples a full and complete understanding of New Religions accommodatiny was neither built upon empirical research nor offered any direction for further study. That is, it appeared to be a "scientific" hypothesis, but failed to deliver. As was true twenty years ago when it was rejected, the few remaining proponents of the brainwashing hypothesis have failed to bring forth any empirical data for its occurrence. While this is not the place to rehash the brainwashing controversy,  we should note that by the mid s we had rejected the idea of brainwashing, a fact documented in a set of documents issued by several of the academic associations most concerned with the debate,  and it was subsequently rejected by the courts .
The impact of that initial rejection has been that for the last fifteen years New Religion Studies has moved on from that debate and pursued its work quite apart from any notice of brainwashing theories. Second, on the legal front, the court has ruled against the practice of deprogramming and the major organization supporting it, the Cult Awareness Network. With the proliferation of so many New Religions, something like a Cult Awareness Network could have provided a valuable service, and a structure that serves as a watchdog amid the plethora of different religious organizations could be helpful to us all. Those of us, my self included, who opposed the Cult Awareness Network did so on two grounds.
We opposed the brainwashing hypothesis as articulated by Margaret Singer and the use of that theory in court to extract multi-million dollar judgments from minority religions. We have had no argument with other forms of social influence theories that reflected upon the intense pressures that some New Religions place upon their members as part of their indoctrination programs or the high-demand life that characterizes a few of the New Religions. Secondly, we opposed the practice of involuntary deprogramming, a cure that was worse than the illness it was designed to alleviate. With deprogramming largely a thing of the past, and the Singer hypothesis put aside though the French seem not yet to have understood this factthere is the opportunity in the near future to open a dialogue on the larger issue of abuses that occur in high demand religious groups, both new and old, and how we might speak to the issues they raise.
The Future of New Religions Research The "cult" debates aside, however, this symbolic new era we are entering also prompts us to look at the future directions of New Religions Studies.