Cults: A Reference Handbook
ABC-CLIO, 1 janv. 2005 - 341 pages
Over half of U.S. religions have formed since 1960, but the term "cult" applies only to a few high-demand religious groups. In the 1990s, a series of violent incidents involving alternative religious groups reactivated the controversy in the United States, Europe, and East Asia. High-profile terrorist violence such as the September 11 attacks has prompted interest in the issue of religion and violence, which in turn has stimulated new work on the cult issue.
This volume surveys the cult controversies from the early 1970s to the present. Included is an in-depth look at brainwashing and the issue of alternative religions and violence. The principal controversial religions, movements, and individuals that have made the headlines are also examined.
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ABC-CLIO has released three new titles in its "Contemporary World Issues" reference series. First published in 1999, Hate Crimes , by librarian and LJ reviewer Altschiller (Mugar Memorial Lib., Boston Univ.), is an authoritative source on the history and nature of these crimes. It includes an introductory essay, narrative chapters, chronologies, lists of resources, and surveys. Also provided is an updated chronology of major incidents in the United States from the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement to the present. A new chapter, on hate crimes worldwide, has been added as well as a review of 9/11-related incidents. There are alphabetically arranged sketches of human rights activists and organizations; current official statistics on hate crimes; a directory of organizations that monitor hate crimes and extremist and violent hate groups and try to foster interethnic and interreligious harmony; and two highly informative chapters on print and nonprint resources for further study.In this concise review of cult controversies since the early 1970s, first published as Cults in America in 1998, Lewis (religious studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) offers 40 percent new material, mainly regarding alternative religions and violence. It includes the Jonestown murder/suicides in 1978, the Solar Temple slayings in 1995, and the Falun Gong cultists in China. Among the topics covered are a chronology of groups and movements; court decisions, legislation and governmental actions; worldwide statistics and data on cults; biographical sketches of some of the core figures involved; and a list of academic organizations and web sites dedicated to cults and the corresponding issues.In Punishment in America , Banks (criminal justice, Northern Arizona Univ.) provides essential facts, analyses, and expert opinions on the critical issues related to crime and punishment. Chapter topics include an introductory history of punishment in America; the problems and controversies (e.g., the "war on drugs") and solutions (e.g., boot camps); a worldwide comparison of crime and punishment; a chronological review of important events in the history of punishment (thus reflecting the ebb and flow of societal movements); biographical sketches of leading proponents of punishment (e.g., Cesare Beccaria and Alexis de Tocqueville); useful statistical information about punishment in America and elsewhere; a list of agencies and organizations related to punishment and penal reform; and print and nonprint resources relevant to penal issues. Bottom Line All three reference books are a bargain at these prices and are also available in eBook format [Hate Crimes , eBook ISBN 1-851098-629-9; Cults , eBook ISBN 1-85109-623-X; Punishment in America , eBook ISBN 1-85109-681-7]. Hate Crimes is a particularly outstanding reference book. Recommended for all libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego
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