Modern New Religious Movements ( Nrms )

1165 Words5 Pages
Modern New Religious Movements (NRMs) have been around since the turn of the nineteenth century. Today there are some serious NRMs out there and then some that may just be the fad of the moment . . . like the hemline with not much of a personal commitment. Britannica defines NRMs as “the generally accepted term for what is sometimes called, often with pejorative connotations, a “cult.” The term new religious movement has been applied to all new faiths that have arisen worldwide over the past several centuries. NRMs can be unique in origin or an offshoot of a more traditional religion and therefore, are considered distinct.
Molloy, on page 498, touches on the four traits of NRMs. The first trait he discusses is the size of the organization, which is relatively small. Smaller groups have a tendency to appeal to people who seek affirmation and an identity. Participants feel like they belong and have a purpose within the group. Smaller groups also tend to function better as social networks, which, in turn, create stronger bonds.
The second common trait, which Molloy points out, is women have a bigger role in NRMs than in many traditional religions where they oftentimes do not have a formal status. NRMs appealed to women because in many organizations gender is de-emphasized giving women an opportunity to attain leadership positions. In other groups, femininity and masculinity are strengthened and are recognized from a cosmic viewpoint requiring the NRM to nurture women leaders “reflecting the female nature of the divine or the importance of the feminine principle in the workings of universe.” Women may also find NRMs attractive because they appear to want to focus on individual growth and development, while at the same ...

... middle of paper ...

...e on page 356. He states NRM scripture has a lot less structural variety and genre than traditional scripture. This may be another alluring contemporary element since they were written in modern times and can identify with the world today. Interestingly, Van Voorst also makes a point about the scriptures that, although they are an important avenue to encounter NRMs, they also “are as numerous, varied, and often as controversial as the movements that publish them.”
As with any religion, its survival is dependent upon its ability to adapt to change, and NRMs are no exception. Although, NRMs were founded in modern times, these times will change as well. Molloy (p 522) comments change is always difficult and adapting to change is rarely accomplished without debate, misperception, or discomfort. New NRMs will always be formed to endure a world that is ever changing.
Open Document