Sects & Stats - Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members - James R. Lewis

Sects & Stats - Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members - James R. Lewis

1 Whatever Happened to Youthful Converts?

Sects & Stats - Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members - James R. Lewis

James R. Lewis [+-]
Wuhan University
James R. Lewis is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University. He is well-published in the field of new religious movements. His publications and edited volumes include The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Controversial New Religions (with Jesper Petersen), Scientology, Children of Jesus and Mary (with Nicholas Levine), and, most recently, Violence and New Religious Movements.

Description

Chapters One and Two challenge two different generalizations about conversion to NRMs using a type of quasi-longitudinal method (projecting backward from current data) in both chapters. The youth crisis model of conversion posited that new recruits were predominantly young people whose involvement could be explained as a function of their youth (e.g., as an adolescent developmental crisis). The first chapter presents statistics on recruits to seven different contemporary new religions that fundamentally challenge this item of conventional wisdom. Six out of seven data sets also embody a striking pattern of gradually increasing age across time for new converts.

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Citation

Lewis, James. 1 Whatever Happened to Youthful Converts?. Sects & Stats - Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 11-30 Nov 2014. ISBN 9781781791080. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24734. Date accessed: 14 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24734. Nov 2014

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