Bearing False Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian by Douglas E. Cowan

By Douglas E. Cowan

From Hare Krishna to the Latter-Day Saints, and from Jehovah's Witnesses to the hot Age, spiritual pluralism in North American offers evangelical Protestantism with major demanding situations. pointing out more recent spiritual teams cults, aberrant sects, and heretical religions, the Christian countercult flow has warned that those teams signify a hazard to society. In ^IBearing fake Witness?^R Cowan considers the Christian countercult as an entire, finding it in sociological viewpoint as an entity particular from the secular anti-cult. via his research, the writer argues that the first goal of the countercult stream is to enhance and service the Christian worldview while it seems that threatened by way of the arrival of different spiritual traditions. This specific research of the Christian countercult is helping clarify why conservative Christian responses to competing non secular events have taken the shape that they've as well as how these responses are carried out.Unlike the anti-cult move, that is concerned about removal participants from cults and returning them to their households, the Christian countercult circulation, in response to the writer, makes an attempt not just to take away cultists from the unfavorable impacts of the cults to which they belong, but in addition to insure that they are going to subscribe to the actual model of Christianity adhered to through the countercultists themselves. starting with the countercult's early historical past, the writer offers an old account of the stream and its current actions. because the upward thrust of recent spiritual pursuits, the transforming into curiosity in religions imported from outdoor North the USA, and the broadening of the spiritual market maintains to develop, figuring out the Christian countercult and its presence as a countervailing strain to those more and more socioreligious dynamics turns into ever extra very important.

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Extra resources for Bearing False Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult

Sample text

Men and women join and remain within new and controversial religious movements because their normal cognitive faculties have been interrupted by the thought control processes deployed by the new religious movement. Chanting and indoctrinational lectures, a low-protein diet, excessive service in the face of inadequate periods of rest together constitute a program by which the ability of individuals to make rational choices is impaired (see Bromley and Richardson 1983; Conway and Siegelman 1979; Freed 1980; Hassan 1990, 2000; Melton 1999; Singer and Lalich 1995; Tobias and Lalich 1994; for a contrary view, however, see Bainbridge 1978; Barker 1984).

While the anticult relies on putative sociological and psychological definitions of “cult” to support its conceptualization, and suffers thereby, the countercult grounds its opposition to new and alternative religious groups, as well as established world religions, in a theological understanding of the exclusive, unique, and all-sufficient nature of conservative Christianity. These different definitions also fix how each movement explains so-called cultic behavior. Explanation of Cultic Behavior Deriving tautologically from its definition of a cult, the anticult also explains cultic behavior in terms of brainwashing and/or thought control models.

Bromley 1998, 2001; Bromley and Richardson 1983; Conway and Siegelman 1979; Hassan 1990, 2000; Hein 2000; Singer and Lalich 1995; Tobias and Lalich 1994; Zablocki 1997, 1998; Zablocki and Robbins 2001). The working hypothesis is that at some point in the recruitment and conversion process, the cognitive ability of the potential recruit is compromised by the religious group, and the capacity to make rational, informed decisions is impaired. Once recruits are active within the group, this process continues and intensifies.

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