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RELS214 New Religious Movements

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

A study of new religious movements (NRMs) in the modern world.

This paper focuses on the history, membership and main features of various religious organisations, including Rastafarianism, ISKCON (the Hare Krishnas), Wicca, the Black Muslims, Marian Apparitional Movements and UFO cults.

Paper title New Religious Movements
Paper code RELS214
Subject Religious Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2020
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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36 points
RELS 306, RELX 214, RELX 306
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with RELS 231 passed in 2007.
Teaching staff
Dr Elizabeth Guthrie-Higbee
Paper Structure
  • One 2,500 word essay 25%
  • Five online tutorial contributions 25%
  • Two-hour exam 50%
Teaching Arrangements
Campus: Weekly lectures
Distance: Online discussion
A coursebook has been developed for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Communication skills.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of the paper, students should be able to
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the key concepts and ideas that lie behind the contemporary literature on new religious movements (NRMs)
  • Be familiar with the dominant theories on the formation of NRMs, NRMs leadership and apostasy
  • Appreciate the ethical issues and controversies that NRMs provoke
  • Present analytical arguments in essay form on chosen topics

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Not offered in 2020

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system