Social scientists like Stark and Bainbridge recognize the importance of such experiences, but concentrate on quantifiable sociological aspects of conversion (Stark and Bainbridge 19-89).
Likewise, Eileen Barker's truly excellent The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing (1984) provides a mass of information about the sociological dynamics of conversion to the Unification Church.
Remember if you are an academic you may request an inspection copy. From the back cover of New Religions as Global Cultures "In this strongly recommended and well-balanced study, Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe provide a much needed general survey of the plethora of contemporary new religions. By setting new religions within a broad cross-cultural context they assist the reader in recognizing the underlying similarity of concepts that are developing throughout the world to create distinct global cultures. The unique and helpful contribution of the Hexham/Poewe volume is their discussion of NRM's cross-culturally from a global perspective. Hexham and Poewe prove to be intelligent analysts and critics of new religions ... This treasure trove of provocative insights and propostions should in any case be read by all serious students of modern spiritual ferment. : The book is written for a specific task with a particular readership in mind.
The book will be a useful tool for anyone beginning an examination of new religions." Joan Townsend, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba. Seldom in books on this topic do we learn about new religions in Asia or about Africa's new religions. Tom Robbins, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. It is designed to help students and anyone interested in religion to understand new religions from an interdisciplinary and global perspective ...
Go to the Westview Web Site to order this book The address for Westview Press plus phone numbers is given at the end of this Web Page.
Finally, you will find details about how to order the book. Contents Foreword Preface 1 The Great Anti-cult Crusade 2 From Cults to New Religions and Global Cultures 3 New Religions as Global Cultures 4 New Religions and Primal Experiences 5 Myths and Mythologies - read a sample chapter 6 Yogic and Abaramic Religion 7 The Membership Process 8 New Religions - New Visions 9 How Dangerous Are New Religions?
Yet, in this pioneering book Barker makes no mention of individual conversion accounts involving primal experiences.
Above all, they not only shock those who experience them but also bring about a change in their attitude toward the material world.
Second, he was very worried about the fact that under the American system "orthodox" groups, which he argued were always strong among the laity, dominated churches.
In his view this orthodoxy was dangerous because it rejected "scientific education." In making this comment he seems to have meant German higher criticism of the Bible (Troeltsch  192) ...
On the basis of numerous interviews and published accounts we believe that primal experiences play a crucial role in the creation of new religions, the conversion of members to new religions, and in their religious lives thereafter.
Naturally, people join new religions for many reasons, for example, peer pressure or to escape unhappy home situations.