The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects, and Cults

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9780823915057: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects, and Cults
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This encylopaedia is a resource for those seeking factual information on the world's practising new and contemporary religions, sects and cults. It contains over 2200 A-to-Z entries.

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Published by a company known primarily for its juvenile nonfiction works, this encyclopedia includes groups that "espouse a religious belief system" yet also "demonstrate novelty in both organization and beliefs" and came into existence within the last 200 years. Beit-Hallahmi, a professor of psychology, has written extensively on the relationship between religion and psychology.

Not counting the numerous cross-references, there are approximately 1,100 entries in the work, ranging from very few words (the Universal Shrine of Divine Guidance entry is simply "U.S. Christian-occultist group founded by Mark Karras in 1966") to approximately 900 words for Scientology, Church of and Unification Church. Just under 15 percent of the entries have bibliographies listing from 1 to 12 works, "only books based on scholarly research, not publications representing the group itself," according to the preface. The volume concludes with a synoptic index, which lists groups by religious origins or geographic location. Thus, users will find a list of all relevant entries under such headings as Theosophy Groups or Japan. Numerous flaws, however, were spotted in this index. For example, of the five groups listed under Italy, only one actually has an entry. The work features some 100 black-and-white photographs, most of them of religious leaders.

The groups in this work range from well-known, established religions such as Mormons to New Age, occult, and UFO-based movements, such as Arising Sun IFO, whose entry indicates that "messages are reported from Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and Elvis Presley." The work is current through the April 1993 destruction of the Waco compound of the Branch Davidians. There are no biographical entries; proper names always have a see reference to the appropriate religious group. The Board spotted one blind cross-reference: "Duane Peterson, see International Christian Ministries"; no entry exists for the latter.

A sampling indicated that approximately 55 percent of the religious bodies in this volume are also in Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions (Gale, 1989), which features more than 1,500 entries and also gives addresses. The latter, however, covers only the U.S. and Canada, while the current work is international in scope. This encyclopedia is accessible to a wide variety of users, but many will be disappointed with the brevity of many entries. Whereas Pillar of Fire receives half a page in Encyclopedia of American Religions, it is dealt with in about 50 words in this volume.

The recently published Contemporary Religions: A World Guide [RBB Je 1 & 15 93], criticized by the Board for its numerous editorial flaws, is international in scope but contains no bibliographies and does not feature as many small groups as the present work. At $49.95, The Illustrated Encyclopedia is a less-expensive alternative to Melton or Contemporary Religions. However, libraries should be aware that the many brief entries (most sampled were under 100 words), lack of addresses, and relatively few bibliographies will do little more than verify the existence of a religious movement.

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Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi
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Book Description Rosen Publishing Group, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. An essential resource for both teens and teachers, this completely updated and revised edition features more than 650 entries. This reference guide is designed to provide information about all active cults and sects throughout the world, including religious movements that your students might come into contact with or want to know about. Get historical information on such groups as the Order of Solar Temple and the apparent mass suicide of forty-six of its members in Switzerland and Quebec. In addition, you will find up-to-date information on Aum Shinrikyo, the group accused of releasing nerve gas into a subway in Japan, as well as an overview of the Heavens Gate cult, with a synopsis of its history and the events leading up to the mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Learn about the origins of well-known groups such as the Scientologists or Theosophists or more obscure groups such as the Cosmic Star Temple. Groups are easy to locate through four comprehensive indexes, including personal names; geographic, alternative, and former group names; and a categorical index that organizes religions according to their type (e.g., Pentecostal, New Thought, Wiccan). Mylar protector included. Solid binding. Book. Seller Inventory # 123485374

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Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin
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Book Description Rosen Publishing Co, New York, 1994. Hardback. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1993 first edition Rosen Pub Co hardback; Good with VG dj; ex library, usual plate and stamps; UK dealer, immediate dispatch. Book. Seller Inventory # 158R14

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Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin
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ISBN 10: 0823915050 ISBN 13: 9780823915057
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Book Description Rosen Pub Group, New York, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. 341pp hardback, ilustrated, very good in a plastic protected very good wrapper. Seller Inventory # 021969

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