Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-19 of 19 documents


articles
1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Per Faxneld Bleed for the Devil: Self-injury as Transgressive Practice in Contemporary Satanism, and the Re-enchantment of Late Modernity
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Using ethnographic method combined with analysis of primary sources like mass media appearances, song lyrics and websites, the article examines ritualized self-injury in the Black Metal milieu. It is shown that this type of ascetic mortification is no aberration in the history of religions, but diverges from older forms of Satanism. Self-injury functions in Black Metal Satanism as a symbol of transgression and virile bravado, and as a means to display allegiance to the Satanic cause by permanently marking the body. It is typically described by practitioners as a blood sacrifice to Satan. This ritualization of self-injury, where it is explicitly framed as a practice completely different from anything occurring in a secular context, is part of a broader endeavor in the milieu, which seeks to re-enchant a late modernity perceived to be devoid of spiritual values. Increasing mass media attention to self-injury, there postulated as a (secular) mental health problem among adolescent girls, has therefore lessened its usefulness as a sacralized and masculine transgressive symbol. This, it is argued, explains the declining emphasis on it in the Satanic milieu in recent years.
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Ronald Hutton Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective: The Case of Modern Paganism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article explores the relationship between mainstream and orthodox historical scholarship, and the appearance and nature of the modern religion of Pagan witchcraft or Wicca. It suggests that such scholarship was directly responsible both for the appearance of Wicca and the form which it has taken, producing a complex interaction between the religion and more recent academic history-writing, by turns mutually supportive and adversarial. It also, however, examines the relationship between historians of Wicca itself and wider contemporary society, arguing that this is frequently fraught in itself, as an uninformed public hostility to Pagan witchcraft can be applied to those who study it. The result is a series of loops of reference and understanding or misunderstanding, with scholarly history, past and present, connecting all.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Kaarina Aitamurto The Liaison of Nationalism, Conservatism, and Leftist Ideology within Rodnoverie
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Previous studies of contemporary Slavic Paganism in Russia—Rodnoverie—agree that nationalism is one of the central features of the movement. While in the West nationalism and conservatism are often assumed to be predominantly linked to right-wing politics, in Russia they also manifest themselves in in the framework of leftist political thinking. This article introduces several case studies of Rodnoverie groups and thinkers that illustrate the myriad ways in which conservative nationalism and leftist ideology are amalgamated into the movement. Some Rodnovers identify as leftist, but promote flagrantly nationalist and ultra-conservative ideas. Others—who draw sharp divisions between “us” and “them” on a national or ethnic basis, subscribe to conservative and pro-authoritarian ideas, and distinguish themselves from the political left—may still resort to such traditional leftist themes as social justice and economic equality. The analysis demonstrates that Rodnoverie societal thinking reflects the Soviet legacy, but also resembles contemporary European populism.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Bina Nir From “In the Beginning God Created” to “Time is Money”: The Nostalgia for Mystic Time in Western Culture
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The aim of this article is to delineate fundamental conceptions of the meaning of time in Western culture, from the beginning of monotheism until the present time, from an understanding of the construction of Western time. This understanding will enable us to consider the perception of time characteristic of the New Age culture as nostalgia for mystic time. The Hebrew Bible, which is the ideological basis of Christianity, is the source of the concept of linear time. Two different types of time exist in the Bible: eternal, mystic time belonging to God, and mundane, linear, historical time. Finally, the conception of time became connected to the process of secularization, described in this article as the disappearance of mystic time. The “New Age” culture reverses the trend of secularism and individualism. One of the common characteristics of elements of this culture is the change in the perception of time.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
James R. Lewis, Sverre Andreas Fekjan New Religions, Contemporary Paganism, and Paranormal Beliefs
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Using data generated from questionnaires containing select items from the Baylor Religion Survey, the current study proposes to examine the paranormal interests and beliefs of participants in two specific alternative spiritual movements, contemporary Paganism and the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA). The analysis will be framed by a discussion of the larger alternative spiritual milieu in which these movements are rooted, and how belief in the paranormal is correlated more with this milieu than with involvement in these NRMs.
review essay
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Norman Simms Religio Duplex: How The Enlightenment Reinvented Egyptian Religion. By Jan Assmann, translated by Robert Savage
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
book reviews
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack Understanding Chinese Religions. By Joachim Gentz
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power. By John L. Sullivan
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Xudong Ning The Cultural Economy of Falun Gong in China: A Rhetorical Perspective. By Xiao Ming
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis Introduction
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
articles
11. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Bernard Doherty Colonial Justice or a Kangaroo Court?: Public Controversy and the Church of Scientology in 1960s Australia
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Beginning in the late 1950s what was to become the Church of Scientology in Australia had become a topic of public concern. In response to a highly critical report issued by an official Board of Inquiry in the State of Victoria, held over the course of 1963-1964 under the auspices of Kevin Victor Anderson Q.C., state governments in Victoria (1965), Western Australia (1968) and South Australia (1969) passed legislation to restrict the activities of Scientologists. This legislation proved controversial and largely ineffective and was eventually repealed in all three state jurisdictions. This article provides a preliminary account of the circumstances that occasioned the original Board of Inquiry and the background and parliamentary debates surrounding each piece of legislation. Utilizing archival documents and public records this article examines how this controversial legislation passed into law and how Scientology initially responded to attempts to curtail its activities. The article concludes with a brief account of the circumstances surrounding the repeals of the legislation in Western Australia (1973), South Australia (1974) and finally in Victoria (1982).
12. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Don Jolly Sexuality In Three Ex-Scientology Narratives
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Several recent and high-profile mainstream publications have foregrounded the matter of sexuality in their narration of life in Scientology. This paper, focusing on works by Lawrence Wright, Kate Bornstein and Jenna Miscavige-Hill, discusses the deployment of sexuality in their respective narratives, along with some brief speculation as to why this deployment in useful in the context of explaining engagement with Scientology to a non-specialist audience. Sexuality, I conclude, is widely accepted as a lever with sufficient power to explain the titanic personal realignment required of those who wish to either become Scientologists or to shed said identity in public view. As Foucault would have, modern constructions of personal truth rely on sexuality for their mystery and truthfulness – it is these two elements, I contend, that make the concept ideal fodder for popular ex-Scientologist biography.
13. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis Scientology vs. the Media
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The issue of Scientology and the media is in some ways an extension of the discussion of Scientology and controversy, and in other ways not. James R. Lewis’s “Scientology vs. the Media” surveys the larger question. In some ways, the Church of Scientology is but a case study of the larger media controversy surrounding new religions in general. From another perspective, Scientology’s Guardians Office was a uniquely vicious agency that, in the name of protecting the Church, ended up providing the basis for yet harsher criticisms. For many years, the Church of Scientology kept up a sustained attack against hostile outsiders. But it was with the emergence of the Internet that the Church of Scientology finally met its Waterloo.
14. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Guillaume Roucoux Anti-cult (Out)Numbering: An Examination of Polls Commissioned by MIVILUDES from IPSOS (2010–2011)
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article does a scientific and critical examination of three polls commissioned by the Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Fighting Cultic Drifts (MIVILUDES) to the national firm IPSOS, between 2010 and 2011. Since numbers are a frequently-used weapon from both sides of the “war against cults,” this article analyzes the “anti-cult arithmetic” through a particular case. First, it explores IPSOS’s methodology. Second, it wonders about MIVILUDES’s presupposed expectations and the relevance of its technical terminology towards the respondents. Third, it shows that most of the polls’ results invalidate the Mission’s urgent call to protect French citizens from cults. Additionally, still third, it points out the Mission expects to build its own existence upon the results by outnumbering them and by rephrasing the polls. Finally, this article offers a conceptualization of outnumbering, which is a frequent rhetorical tool regarding cults in general.
15. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Shannon Trosper Schorey Site Temporarily Unavailable: Revisiting the Role of Information in “Scientology v. the Internet”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
“Scientology v. the Internet” references the Church of Scientology’s ongoing struggle with Internet activists and users who attempt to access, disseminate, or modify copyrighted and trademarked church documents online. Since the mid 1990s the Church of Scientology has attempted to use copyright and trademarks to secure their sacred esoteric teachings, but Internet activists have argued that these policies transgress good “Netizen” etiquette and threaten the architecture of the digital platform as a space for the radical access and dissemination of information. This article seeks to revisit Scientology v. the Internet by highlighting the changing imagination of information within the Scientology tradition itself. While L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology maintain a Cold War era conceptualization of information as discrete data that is in need of control (because of the threat of entropy and misuse), recent calls from Independent Scientologists to “open source” the “tech” reflect greater cultural shifts that have begun to reimagine information as a process that carries along with it an emphasis on the values of open access, modification, and distribution. The tension between these two competing imaginations of information continues to fuel the Church of Scientology’s struggles online; while at the heart of “Open Source Scientology” lies a double movement of preservation and alteration that is intimately bound with narratives of authenticity.
16. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Donald A. Westbrook Saint Hill and the Development of Systematic Theology in the Church of Scientology (1959–1967)
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article surveys major developments in the history and especially theology of the Church of Scientology from 1959 to 1967. During this period, Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986) transitioned the international ecclesiastical headquarters from Washington, D.C. to London and then East Grinstead, where in 1959 he purchased Saint Hill Manor. Although he traveled extensively during this period, “Saint Hill”—as it is internally known—became his main base of operations and as a result the center of the Scientology world. There, Hubbard developed and codified several features of what may be assembled and viewed as a nascent systematic theology. These primarily concern anthropology, education, sin, and evil in ways that influenced the orthopraxy of Scientology into the early history of the Sea Organization (founded in 1967) and continue to be lived realities for Scientologists to present day.
book reviews
17. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Carole M. Cusack Sufism in the Secret History of Persia. By Milad Milani
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
18. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
David G. Robertson Wicca and the Christian Heritage: Ritual Sex and Magic. By Joanne Pearson
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
19. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Liam Sutherland Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life. By Graham Harvey
view |  rights & permissions | cited by