The study of New Religious Movements (NRMs) is one of the fastest-growing areas of religious studies, and since the release of the first edition of The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements in 2003, the field has continued to expand and break new ground. In this all-new volume, James R. Lewis and Inga B. Tøllefsen bring together established and rising scholars to address an expanded range of topics, covering traditional religious studies topics such as "scripture," "charisma," and "ritual," while also applying new theoretical approaches to NRM topics. Other chapters cover understudied topics in the field, such as the developmental patterns of NRMs and subcultural considerations in the study of NRMs.
The first part of this book examines NRMs from a social-scientific perspective, particularly that of sociology. In the second section, the primary factors that have put the study of NRMs on the map, controversy and conflict, are considered. The third section investigates common themes within the field of NRMs, while the fourth examines the approaches that religious studies researchers have taken to NRMs. As NRM Studies has grown, subfields such as Esotericism, New Age Studies, and neo-Pagan Studies have grown as distinct and individual areas of study, and the final section of the book investigates these emergent fields.