Aled Thomas is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds and Associate Lecturer at the Open University. His PhD, completed at the Open University, explored the practice of auditing across Free Zone Scientology. His research interests include fluid forms of contemporary religions, ‘cultic’ discourses, and lived/material religion. Aled is the author of Free Zone Scientology: Contesting the Boundaries of a New Religion (Bloomsbury 2021) and has presented papers on his research at conferences in the UK, Europe, and USA.
Vivian Asimos and Theodora Wildcroft took the opportunity to ask the delegates of BASR 2019 what inspired them about the conference theme, their opinion about major trends in the discipline, and how they were personally feeling about REF 2021.
Scientology seems almost exclusively to be considered fair game (pun intended) for ridicule and criticism among New Religious Movements, and this may have much to tell us about the theoretical models scholars are using, and the institutional factors at play in the legitimisation of particular traditions in the academic and popular discourse. We discuss insider scholarship and the control of information; the Free Zone and the Church; strategic use of the category 'religion'; and how we see scholarship developing in the post-Hubbard era
In his interview with the RSP, George Chryssides considers a prominent methodological challenge for scholars of New Religious Movements (NRMs) – how to approach the narratives of former members of NRMs in an academic context. Ex-member narratives can cover a variety of issues relating to NRMs, ranging from reasons why certain members joined and left the movement, to intricate details involving esoteric practices that are unknown to outsiders.
A roundtable discussion considering the future of ISKCON and what happens when religions are no longer 'new'. As a follow-up to our interview with Kim Knott on ISKCON in Britain, this podcast is a roundtable discussion at the ISKCON 50 conference at Bath Spa University, 2016.
Kim Knott provides an overview of the Hare Krishna movement in Britain, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Alison Robertson gives an insight to her doctoral research on BDSM as religious practice. In this interview Alison Robertson gives an insight to her doctoral research on BDSM (Bondage, Dominance, and Submission) as religious practice. Throughout her research, Robertson has examined the relationship between BDSM and religiosity,