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RELS214 New Religious Movements

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 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Summer School (Distance learning)
Summer School (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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36 points
RELS 306, RELX 214, RELX 306
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with RELS231 passed in 2007.

Dr Elizabeth Guthrie-Higbee

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

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, 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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Summer School

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

Summer School

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 2-5, 7
Tuesday 12:00-12:50 2-7
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 2-7
Thursday 12:00-12:50 2-7