Susan J. Palmer
Susan J. Palmer is an Affiliate Professor at Concordia University, where she teaches. She is an affiliate member of the School of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts at McGill University and a researcher at the Centre d'expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes religieux et la radicalisation (CEFIR) at the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit. Her research in the field of new religious movements has been funded by six federal grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). In April 2017 she was awarded a five-year Insight Grant (SSHRC).
- Book: Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities. Written with Stuart A. Wright (Oxford UP, 2015)
- Book: The New Heretics of France (Oxford UP, 2011)
- The Nuwaubian Nation: Black Spirituality and State Control (Ashgate, 2010)
- Book: Aliens Adored: Rael’s New Religion (Rutgers UP, 2004)
- Book: Children in New Religions. Edited by Susan J. Palmer and Charlotte E. Hardman (Rutgers UP, 1999)
- Book: Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements. Written with Thomas Robbins (Routledge, 1997)
- Book: Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers (Syracuse UP, 1994)
- Book: The Rajneesh Papers: Study in a New Religious Movement. Written with Arvind Sharma (Motilal Banarsidass, 1993)
Ph.D Candidate (McGill)
Marie-Ève Melanson is a PhD candidate in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. Her fields of research are freedom of religion and minority rights in Canada. In this project on Children in Minority Religions, she investigates alternative modes of education in Quebec, notably homeschooling and privately funded religious schools. Her research focuses on the Christian Essene Church, the Society of Saint Pius X, and the Mission de l’Esprit Saint. She is interested in issues related to the transmission of minority religious worldviews in the context of a secular society. Currently, she is conducting research on the upbringing of children in the Twelve Tribes community, which recently relocated from Germany to the Czech Republic. She received the SSHRC Joseph-Armand-Bombardier Scholarship in Honour of Nelson Mandela for her PhD research and was a collaborator on the SSHRC Connection Grant awarded for McGill-CREOR’s Religion and Violence Colloquium.
M.A. Candidate (Concordia)
His M.A. in the Concordia's Department of Religions and Cultures (Judaic Studies) focuses on the ritual, familial, and gendered significance of food and death, as illustrated in an array of memoirs of Hungarian-speaking Holocaust survivors. His interests include the humanistic dimensions of affect theory and the kaleidoscopic denominational pluralism of the Montreal Jewish community from a socio-historical perspective. He presents on understudied aspects of Hungarian Holocaust survivors’ lives through their memoirs. This includes everything from their literary and cinematic preferences in cultural-historical context to their domestic pets.
For his thesis, he studies the community-building and institutional reception of these Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Montreal and Toronto. This builds on an earlier M.A. in History where he studied Holocaust survivors’ interethnic relations in the Hungarian borderlands during the WWII era.
Matheus Grillo R. de Carvalho
Ph.D Candidate in Second Temple Judaism (McGill)
Matheus Grillo is interested in observing how new religious movements are born and develop, and in understanding which factors determine the emergence and disappearance of religious movements. He expects that through these observations, he will be able to gain insights into human religious behaviour that may apply to his research on Second Temple Judaism, a time of increasing religious diversity. He is also interested in rites performed by divine beings within myths and cosmologies.
Shane Dussault Ovadia
M.A. Candidate in Hebrew Bible (McGill)
In the context of this project, Shane Dussault is interested in the tension between secularism and pluralism, in the way in which public education has been used to assimilate minority cultures, and how minority religions challenge us to reflect on our own assumptions. He is also interested in radicalism, its recruitment amongst youth, and in particular the religious side of digital communities that bond over conspiracy theories. His B.A. is in philosophy (McGill) and he is preparing a thesis on the Book of Job to examine how the concepts of justice shift over time.
He is also the designer and adminstrator for this website.
Maryam "Farmehr" Amirdust
PhD Candidate in Religion (Concordia)
Farmehr is a PhD student at the Department of Religions and Cultures, Concordia University. Their project looks into Zoroastrian exegetical tradition in late antiquity and Pahlavi translations of the Avesta. Their other interests include Tafsir and Qur'anic exegesis in early Islamic period, intertextuality and hermeneutic practices.
B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies (McGill)
Yasmina Male is in her fourth year at McGill University and is a student in Political Science and Gender Studies. She is a recipient of the 2016 Ralph M. Barford Loran Award. Her interests include the role of women and children in religious communities. She has researched various NRMs and intervewed members of Raelian Movement, the (former) Children of God and The Source Family, focusing on gender roles in these groups. Currently, she is working on a project studying NRMs in Quebec and Massachusetts.
Ph.D Candidate in Daesoon Theology (Daejin University)
B.A. in World Religions (McGill), Graduate student (University of Hawaii)
Her studies have focused on Japanese and Japanese religions, which she will continue to study at the University of Hawaii starting in September. After taking a class with Dr. Palmer, she began working as a research assistant, focusing on the Solar Temple.
B.A. in Mathematics and World Religions (McGill)
He is interested in the interaction between religious institutions and spiritual life beyond these institutions. His research focuses on North American Protestantism and Sufism in Eastern Europe. With a background in mathematics, he also has an interest in geometrical group theory.
- WRSP profile on Roch Thériault and the Ant Hill Kidz (with Susan Palmer)
Eileen Barker, OBE FBA
Professor Emeritus of Sociology (London School of Economics)
Her main research interest is 'cults', 'sects' and new religious movements, the changes they undergo and the social reactions to which they give rise. Since 1989 she has also been investigating changes in the religious situation in Eastern Europe, Japan and China.
- Chapter: 2017. “From Cult Wars to Constructive Cooperation – Well, Sometimes” in Eugene V. Gallagher (editor) The ‘Cult Wars’ in Historical Perspective. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 9-22.
- Chapter: 2017. “The Changing Scene: What Might Happen and What Might Be Less Likely to Happen?” in Eugene V. Gallagher (ed.) New and Minority Religions: Projecting the Future. Farnham: Ashgate. Pp.7-19
- Chapter: 2016. “From The Children Of God to The Family International: A Story of Radical Christianity and Deradicalising Transformation” in Stephen Hunt (ed.) the Handbook of Contemporary Christianity: Movements, Institutions & Allegiance. Leiden: Brill. 402-421.
- Article: 2015. "Here, There and/or Anywhere? Minority Religions and their Migration In and Out of Britain." Czech and Slovak Journal of Humanities Anthropologica Culturalia March 1915:18-30.
- Chapter: 2015. “New Religious Movements”. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 16. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 805–808.
- (For more see her LSE profile)
J. Gordon Melton
Distinguished Professor of American Religious History (Baylor University)
He also serves as the director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Woodway, Texas. Since joining the Institute for Studies in Religion (ISR) at Baylor University, he has been developing a set of joint projects between ISR and the Woodway-based Institute, the initial project being a comprehensive census of the American Buddhist and Hindu communities completed in 2012. Since that time he has worked on a church survey of McLennan County (where Waco is located) and a project on the changing state of the church in China.
- Book: Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions (Gale Cengage; 9th edition, 2016).
- Chapter: "Swimming in Other Streams: Alternative Currents in Dallas’s Religious Traditions." In Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas & North Central Texas, Spring, 2016.
- Book: Faiths across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History (ABC-CLIO, 2014).
- Article: Reconceptualizing Types of Religious Organization: Dominant, Secularian, Alternative, and Emergent Tradition Groups. By David G. Bromley and J. Gordon Melton, Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, pp, 4-88, Vol 15:No 3, February 2012
- Chapter: "On My Way to Canaan Land: African American Methodists" Chapter in Prophéties et utopies religieuses au Canada, pp, 175-190, PU Bordeaux (19 Jan 2012)
- (See Baylor University profile for more)
Stuart A. Wright
Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice (Lamar University)
Stuart A. Wright is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice at Lamar. He is a former NIMH Research Fellow (Yale) and Rockefeller Foundation Scholar (Bellagio, Italy). He has authored over fifty publications in scholarly books and journals. Dr. Wright is known internationally for his research on religious and political movements, conflict and violence.
- Book: Storming Zion: Governments Raids on Religious Communities (with Susan J. Palmer, Oxford, 2015)
- Book: Saints under Siege: The Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (with James T. Richardson, New York University Press, 2011)
- Book: Patriots, Politics, and the Oklahoma City Bombing (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
- Book: Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidians (University of Chicago Press, 1995)
- (For more see his ResearchGate.net profile)
Professeur (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)
Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, agrégée d’anglais, est professeure en études nord-américaines à l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne. Elle y dirige le master « Religions et sociétés » et le Centre d’études canadiennes. Elle est spécialiste des religions nord-américaines contemporaines (notamment mormonisme et catholicisme amérindien), de leurs implantations internationales et des processus d’inculturation.
- Book: Les Douze Tribus, la communauté messianique de Sus en France. (Louvain-la-Neuve : EME Éditions, 2019)
- Article: « Katrina, signe de la fin des temps dans le discours des évangélistes millénaristes ». in Frédérie Le Blay. A Universal Imagination of the End of the World ? Cambridge Scholars, 2018, p. 119-141.
- Article: "The Visible Expansion of Scientology and its Actors." The Journal of Cesnur. Volume 3: issue 1 (January-February 2019), p. 8-118.
- Book: La religion des mormons (Paris: Albin Michel, 2012)
- Prophéties et utopies religieuses au Canada (PESSAC FRANCE, PUB, 2011)
- Article: « Kateri Tekakwitha, premier sainte autochtone d’Amérique du Nord »., Concilium, Revue internationale de théologie., 48 (2012/5) , 6 pages.
- Article: « Un modèle d’immigration théocratique : comment l’Église mormone fit accourir les saints d’Europe pour construire la Nouvelle Jérusalem du Lac Salé (1837-1890). », Ils ont fait les Amériques... : Mobilités, territoires et imaginaires (1776-1930), PESSAC FRANCE, PUB
- Article: « Dieux et Dieu font un : pluralisme et consensus aux États-Unis. », Actes 2010 de l’APHG d’Aquitaine, Sept 2011, 7 page(s)
Professor in Religious Studies (Dalarna University, Sweden)
- Book Review: Frisk, Liselotte. The rise of contemporary spiritualism : Concepts and controversies in talking to the dead, 2019.
- Book: Frisk, Liselotte, Nilsson, Sanja, Åkerbäck, Peter. Children in Minority Religions : Growing up in Controversial Religious Groups, Equinox Publishing, 2018.
- Book Review: Frisk, Liselotte. The Art of Living Foundation : Spirituality and Wellbeing in the Global Context, UNIV CALIFORNIA PRESS, 2018.
- Chapter: Frisk, Liselotte. Knutby Filadelfia : A schismatic new religious movement within the Pentecostal context, Part of: Charismatic Christianity in Finland, Norway and Sweden, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
- (For more see her Dalarna University profile)
Course Director at St Mark's National Theological Centre (Charles Sturt University)
Bernard Doherty is a graduate of Macquarie University. Following his PhD, Bernard was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University in the United States where he worked on a series of projects on New Religious Movements in Australia and abroad and on applying social science methodologies to the study of early Christianity. Bernard has published in a number of academic journals including the Journal of Religious History, Nova Religio, the International Journal for the Study of New Religions, the Alternative Spirituality and Religions Review, Phronema, and the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society. Bernard's research interests are wide-ranging and include New Religious Movements, Patristics, Australian religious history, Church and State issues, religion and the media.
- Article: Quirky Neighbors or the Cult Next-Door? An Analysis of Public Perceptions of the Exclusive Brethren in Australia, International Journal for the Study of New Religions 3.2 (2012), 163-211.
- Published Address: Preservation and Paradox: Challenges & Responses to Secularization on the Evangelical Fringe.
- Article: The Smoke of Satan on the Silver Screen: The "Catholic Horror Film" through the lens of the Post-Vatican II Malaise. Religions [Forthcoming]
- Article: Sensational Scientology! The Church of Scientology and Australian Tabloid Television. Nova Religio 17.1 (2014), 38-63.
- Article: The 'Brethren Cult Controversy': Dissecting a Contemporary Australian 'Social Problem.'
- Chapter: Colonial Justice or Kangaroo Court? Public Controversy and the Church of Scientology in 1960s Australia Alternative Spirituality and Religions Review [Forthcoming]
- (For more see his Charles Sturt University profile)
PhD student in Child and Youth Care and Sociology (University of Victoria)
Jessica Pratezina is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies (Child and Youth Care and Sociology) at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Her research covers a number of topics including growing up in alternative religious movements, women’s narratives of religious transition, and the development of wise therapeutic/social work practice with people involved in these religious groups.
- Thesis: Pratezina, J. (2021). “Disciples by default”: Women’s narratives of leaving alternative religious movements. (Master’s Thesis). University of Victoria, British Columbia.
- Lecture: Pratezina, J. (2019). “Disciples by default”: Growing up in alternative religious movements. Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.
- Article: Pratezina, J. (2019). Cult cure culture: Social and therapeutic interventions with children in alternative religious movements. Centre for Studies in Religion & Society Newsletter, 28, 4.
- Article: Pratezina, J. (2019). Alternative religion kids: Spiritual and cultural identity among children and youth involved with new religious movements. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 24, 73-82.
She is a Swedish scholar with a PhD from Dalarna University. She is a co-editor for Aura, a Nordic journal publishing academic articles about new religious movements.
- Thesis: Nilsson, S. (2019). Performing Perfectly: Presentations of Childhood in Knutby Filadelfia Before and After the Dissolution of the Congregation. (Doctoral dissertation). Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet
- Book: Frisk, L., Nilsson, S. & Åkerbäck, P. (2018). Children in Minority Religions: Growing up in Controversial Religious Groups. London: Equinox Publishing
- Chapter: Nilsson, S. (2016). Children in New Religions (vol 2ed.). In: James R. Lewis and Inga B. Tollefsen (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements: (pp. 248-263). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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