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    A study of new religious movements 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.

    About this paper

    Paper title New Religious Movements
    Subject Religious Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level RELS or RELX points
    RELS 214, RELX 214, RELX 306
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology
    (i) May not be credited together with RELS231 passed in 2007. (ii) Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.

    Dr Elizabeth Guthrie-Higbee

    Teaching staff
    Dr Elizabeth Guthrie-Higbee
    Paper Structure
    • Two 4,000-word essays 80%
    • Five online tutorial contributions 20%
    • No final examination
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    Campus: Weekly lectures
    Distance: Online discussion

    A coursebook has been developed for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, 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 terminology, key theories and debates that lie behind the contemporary literature on new religious movements (NRMs)
    • Be familiar with the dominant theories of the formation on NRMs, NRMs leadership and apostasy
    • Explore, through critical analysis, the ethical issues and controversies provoked by NRMs
    • Develop creative and critical approaches when carrying out independent study on a NRM using primary and secondary sources, as well as audio-visual resources


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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