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New Religious Movements Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

For the 2024 annual conference we invite papers on any research pertaining to NRMs. We particularly seek papers on new religions in San Diego and southern California; NRMs and violence; NRMs and peacemaking; NRMs and implicit religion; UFO religions; theosophical and metaphysical movements; consumerism; NRMs and the law; and NRMs and politics.


We also invite prearranged panel and paper proposals for a possible co-sponsored session with Religion, Media, and Culture that engage questions of digitality in new religious movements, or contrast the origins, practice, and study of digital vs. “traditional” NRMs, or NRMs “online” vs. “offline.” How does digitality shape new religious movements?

Statement of Purpose

This Unit supports and encourages research on all aspects of the study of New Religious Movements. Presenters in our sessions study new, and alternative religions, past and present, from a variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives. Our sessions and additional meetings are intended to create opportunities for dialogue among academics who share a passion for understanding NRMs, and to make known to a broader audience the importance of such movements for understanding issues of religious difference, community building and maintenance, ritual and doctrinal innovation, and other aspects of religious life. As scholars of minority, alternative, and new religions, we are deeply aware of the challenges facing those on America’s religious margins. We know the immense human toll such intolerance causes. Our scholarship also demonstrates the violence and tragedy than can result when federal and state agencies fail to recognize the humanity of marginalized religious groups. We are resolved to make space for difference both within the academy and beyond.


Steering Committee Members


Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members