'Cult' Controversies in America (HA)

Subject associations
REL 271 / AMS 341
Spring 2022
Judith Weisenfeld
Registrar description

In this course we examine a variety of new religious movements that tested the boundaries of acceptable religion at various moments in American history. We pay particular attention to government and media constructions of the religious mainstream and margin, to the politics of labels such as "cult" and "sect," to race, gender, and sexuality within new religions, and to the role of American law in constructing categories and shaping religious expressions. We also consider what draws people to new religions and examine the distinctive beliefs, practices, and social organizations of groups labeled by outsiders as "cults."

Additional description

Area of Study Requirement: Religion in America