Perfect Children: Growing Up on the Religious Fringe

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9780199827787: Perfect Children: Growing Up on the Religious Fringe

Children born and raised on the religious fringe are a distinctive yet largely unstudied social phenomenon. They are irreversibly shaped by the experience, having been thrust into radical religious cultures that often believe children to be endowed with heightened spiritual capabilities. The religious group is all encompassing: it accounts for their family, their school, social networks, and everything that prepares them for their adult life.

Using research gathered from over fifty in-depth interviews, Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist explores the lives of individuals born into new religious groups, some of whom have stayed in these groups, and some of whom have left. The groups she considers include the Bruderhof, Scientology, the Family International, the Unification Church, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The book draws on the author's visits to these groups, their schools and homes, and support websites maintained by those who left the religious groups that raised them. It also details her experiences at conferences held by NGOs concerned with the welfare of children in "cults."

The arrival of a second generation of participants in new religious movements raises new concerns and legal issues. Whether they stay or leave, children raised on the religious fringe experience a unique form of segregation in adulthood. Perfect Children examines the ways these movements adapt to a second generation, how children are socialized, what happens to these children as they mature, and how their childhoods have affected them.

Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist is the deputy director of Inform, a non-profit information center specializing in minority religious movements, spiritualities, and fringe political movements, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London. As part of her work, she has encountered and researched a range of topics and issues dealing with minority and/or new religions.

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Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist is Deputy Director of INFORM (Information on Religious Movements) at the London School of Economics.

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"This is a very good book. It is clearly written with a mass of empirical data carefully analyzed and located within a number of theoretical frameworks. I recommend it not only to scholars of new religious movements for whom it is a must, but also to anyone interested in the dynamics of the socialization of children in minority religions or in nonreligious groups that are on the fringe of society."--Sociology of Religion


"Perfect Children is an insightful and sometimes disturbing study of youth growing up in new or sectarian religious movements. The author shows us that the experimental project of rearing "perfect children" comes with a very imperfect road map. With the best of intentions and noblest of spiritual pursuits, the introduction of children into the group changes everything. Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist offers us a window into the intimate lives of these offspring, with all the trials, challenges, and choices they face. This work is a unique and vital contribution to the research literature on new religions."--Stuart Wright, Professor of Sociology, Lamar University


"This is a ground-breaking study in an important, emerging area in the sociology of new religions: a study of the children born into these movements." --Reading Religion


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Van Twist, Amanda Van Eck Duymaer
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Children born and raised on the religious fringe are a distinctive yet largely unstudied social phenomenon -they are irreversibly shaped by the experience having been thrust into a radical religious culture by birth. The religious group is all encompassing. It accounts for their family, their school, social networks, and everything that prepares them for their adult life. The inclusion of a second generation of participants raises new concerns and legal issues. Perfect Children examines the ways new religious movements adapt to a second generation, how children are socialized, what happens to these children as they mature, and how their childhoods have affected them. Amanda van Twist conducted over 50 in-depth interviews with individuals born into new religious groups, some of whom have stayed in the group, some of whom have left. She also visited the groups, their schools and homes, and analyzed support websites maintained by those who left the religious groups that raised them. She also attended conferences held by NGOs concerned with the welfare of children in cults. The main groups she studies include the Bruderhof, Scientology, the Family International, the Unification Church, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Children born into new religions often start life as special children believed to be endowed with heightened spiritual capabilities. But as they mature into society at large they acquire other labels. Those who stay in the group are usually labeled as goodies and innovators . Those who leave tend to be labeled as baddies or seen as troubled. Whether they stay or leave, children raised on the religious fringe experience a unique form of segregation in adulthood. Van Twist analyzes group behavior on an organizational/institutional level as well as individual behavior within groups, and how these affect one another. Her study also raises larger questions about religious freedom in the light of the State s responsibility towards children, and children s rights against the rights of parents to raise their children within their religion. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780199827787

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Book Description 2015. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Children born and raised on the religious fringe are a distinctive yet largely unstudied social phenomenon -they are irreversibly shaped by the experience having been thrust i.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 256 pages. 0.010. Bookseller Inventory # 9780199827787

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