17. What Teaching New Religions Tells Us about the Discourse on ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Religion

Hijacked - A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion - Leslie Dorrough Smith

David G. Robertson [+-]
Open University / Religious Studies Project
View Website
David G. Robertson is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, co-founder of the Religious Studies Project, and co-editor of the journal Implicit Religion. His work applies critical theory to the study of alternative and emerging religions, and to “conspiracy theory” narratives. He is the author of UFOs, the New Age and Conspiracy Theories: Millennial Conspiracism (Bloomsbury 2016), co-editor of After World Religions: Reconstructing Religious Studies (Equinox 2016) and the Handbook of Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Religion (Brill 2018). Twitter: @d_g_robertson.

Description

The anchoring essay of the classroom section reflects on the author’s university classroom experience teaching about New Religious Movements (NRMs) at a British university. NRMs and “cult” groups are often considered outside of the religious mainstream by scholars of religion, and thus scholars of NRMs spend substantial time discussing the politics of definition that frame their subjects in this way. Yet the author argues that a particular folk-sensibility about religion was more common among his students, who were more likely to judge something a “real” religion based on its adherence to markers quite different than those upon which scholars rely. The essay ultimately shows that the act of teaching critical thinking as it regards the construction of the category “religion” is just as much about understanding students’ own colloquial definitions as it is engaging scholars’ categories.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Robertson, David. 17. What Teaching New Religions Tells Us about the Discourse on ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Religion. Hijacked - A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jul 2020. ISBN 9781781797273. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35433. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35433. Jul 2020

Dublin Core Metadata