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New Religion Movements


Please be sure to engage each individual question directly, drawing meaningfully from our course material to establish a clear response and critical perspective in relation to each individual question.

Don’t use a reference from outside of course material!! (NO Sources from internet, JUST PPTs)

1. When it comes to JZ Knight and claims of channeling, some critics see a tension or contradiction between the alternative spirituality promised by New Age practices and the fact that so many of these practices have become commodified and turned into products for a market economy. Such a contradiction leads to further claims regarding legitimacy and authenticity, with figures like JZ Knight labeled a charlatan and her teachings, expressed in Ramthas School of Enlightenment, positioned as a pseudo-religion designed to make a profit, not save/help individuals. However, for students of Ramtha, the opposite is trueto pay for a class is equivalent to tithing as it represents a means to fully participate in and be part of a spiritual community. Given this, do you think criticizing the New Age for being a commodity, as opposed to a religion, is fair? Or could similar critiques be made of more or less all religious life in the twenty-first century?

2. Peoples Temple obviously had roots in mainstream Christianity, particularly in Pentecostalism and Methodism, yet it quickly went in a more radical and socialist direction, which included criticisms of the Bible and of the traditional Christian idea of God and ChristJones even went so far as to declare himself God. Given this, how can we and should we categorize Peoples Temple? Should it still be considered a sect or form of Christianity, or was it something else entirely? Or could one argue that Jones was reasserting the radial socialist message inherent in the Gospels themselves and it was this claim of revitalizing what Christianity is and can be that made Jones and Peoples Temple a threat to mainstream American culture and conventional Christianity?

3. Many scholars of the Branch Davidians argue that disasters such as Waco could be avoided if law enforcement paid more attention to what serious scholars of religion have to say and less attention to journalists and anticult activists. Do you agree? Or do you think this is giving too much credit to the scholarly community? After all, scholars of religion are not trained in law enforcement or the handling of potentially dangerous situationsany more than law enforcement agents are trained in the study of religion. Are there ways in which the two communities can work productively together? If so, how? And, how does all this impact the vibrancy of what constitutes a legitimate religion versus what constitutes a danger requiring intervention?

I want you to draws directly and meaningfully from class material
Only use sources from materials that I uploaded
Please do not use any citation from internet!!

Your response should
1. Make a critical claim (argument)
2. Use class material as evidence to support your claim (Need citation)
Failure to include references and direct citations will result in an automatic markdown of 0.5

Discussion forums are not designed to be spaces to simply react, but rather to use the knowledge you have gained through engaging our material in order to critically examine the complexities and nuances of the groups and themes we study.

There are not necessarily right or wrong answers when it comes to posting; rather, responses will be assessed based on 1) clear evidence that you have read & 2) your openness to critically engage complex matters of the religious life.

I want you to write at least one page for each questions
Please do not write them superficially, I want to see your personal critical thoughts on this essay rather than explaining too much definition of each new religion.

I really want you to read each PPT before you starting writing this essay.

I will upload previous discussion Forums that Ive done so that I will help you to understand the concept of it. (Please take you time and read them:)


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