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EHE Process/Spiritual Path ,Spirituality
Record Type: Review   ID: 664

Social Science and the Cults: An Annotated Bibliography

Saliba, John A.

 The definition of cult in this annotated bibliography of the literature is "a minor, alternative religious system that is outside the mainstream of traditional religion and is usually judged negatively by Society at large. Cults, sects, and other small religious organizations are, therefore, included" (p. x). To be included a document must be one "that examines the cults in relation to society or culture or some aspect thereof" (p. xii). (Works dealing with the psychological disciplines and cults are presented in the author's companion volume, Psychiatry and the Cults: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland, 1987.) It is limited to books and articles in English. The bibliography is divided into four sections. The first lists the sources for the social scientific study of cults. The second covers the historical background. The third consists of general, theoretical, and methodological studies, and the last consists of contemporary studies of specific cults, sects, and new religious movements. The annotations are descriptive and are an average of 200 words in length. Saliba concludes that this review reveals the "social-scientific literature proves beyond any doubt that a healthy debate has been going on about the presence, functioning, and meaning of the cults in Western culture" (p. xvi). There is an index of sects, cults, and new religious movements and a subject index.
Publisher Information:New York: Garland Publishing, 1990. 694p. Author Index: 653-667; Subject Index: 669-676; 677-694
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