College of Arts and Science
While religious traditions constantly change, and new religions emerge in every historical time period, the new religious movements of the past century (many of which are often referred to negatively as “cults”) present a particular challenge to contemporary cultures and societies. We will begin with a theoretical overview of new religious movements (NRMs) and will proceed gradually to discuss in detail the religion of the Peoples Temple and its charismatic leader and founder, Jim Jones. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Recommended: An introductory course in any of the following disciplines/area studies: Religious Studies, Psychology, Communication Studies (emphasis on Media and Society/Media Theory); or Sociology.