Cults, Extremists, Terrorists? A Sociological Perspective on New Religious Movements

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Prof Eileen Barker OBE FBA

London School of Economics

New religious movements have committed acts of terrorism and doubtless will do so again, but the overwhelming majority of them do not. Some can certainly be seen as ‘extreme’ if, by extremism, we mean distance from a norm. But then, some are ‘extremely peaceful’ – and this, curiously enough, can be seen as extremely dangerous. While insisting that we cannot generalise about new religious movements, this talk will explore both some of the features that they may display because they are new and some of the reactions they have elicited from the society at large.