Lisa Duggan | New Religious Movements, Popular Culture, and Perception
Introducing World Religions by Charles E. Farhadian: Chapter 10, “New Religious Movements”
A new religious movement (NRM), also known as a new religion or an alternative spirituality, is a religious or spiritual group that has modern origins and which occupies a peripheral place within its society's dominant religious culture. NRMs can be novel in origin or part of a wider religion, in which case they are distinct from pre-existing denominations. Some NRMs deal with the challenges posed by the modernizing world by embracing individualism whereas others seek tightly knit collective means. Scholars have estimated that NRMs now number in the tens of thousands worldwide, with most of their members living in Asia and Africa. Most have only a few members, some have thousands, and only very few have more than one million members.