” and “sect” uncritically. Nevertheless, outside of academia, the language of “cults” continues to be used, and particularly through the law, has an affect on the lives of real people. Susan J. Palmer
joins David G. Robertson
to discuss the intersection between new or minority religions and the law. Professor Palmer describes how she came to study these minority groups, and to realise that they were often being misrepresented, or at least unduly targeted. Discussion ranges from Scientology in France to the Branch Davidians and the Nuwaubians in the US, with issues of secularity, race and “brainwashing” come to the fore. A fascinating overview for anyone interested in how the discourse on “religion”
operates in the contemporary world.
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Religion and the Law (Winnifred F. Sullivan), Studying “Cults”
(Eileen Barker), and Is Britain still a Christian country?
(Linda Woodhead), and feature essays by Daniel Silliman
, Essi Mäkelä
, and Kevin Whitesides
. You can download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes
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