‘Laboratories’ of Gender? Masculinities, Spirituality and New Religious Movements in Late Twentieth-Century Britain

  • Stephen Hunt
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


This chapter brings into relief aspects of masculinity and spirituality as articulated through the so-called New Religious Movements (NRMs) which arose during the latter decades of twentieth-century Britain. The subject matter is particularly pertinent given common conjecture surrounding the decline of culturally dominant Christianity during this period. The extent to which NRMs heralded the emergence of fresh and frequently unconventional forms of religiosity, therefore in addition to differing models of masculinity, forms the central focus of this chapter.


World Religion Religious Movement Wedding Ceremony Religious Consciousness Queer Woman 
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Further reading

  1. Arweck, E. and P. Clarke (1997) New Religious Movements in Western Europe: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport and London: Greenwood Press).Google Scholar
  2. Barker, E. and M. Warburg (eds) (1998) New Religions and New Religiosity (Aarhus, Denmark: Aargus University Press).Google Scholar
  3. Beckford, J. (ed.) (1986) New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change (Paris: UNESCO; London, Beverly Hills and New Delhi: Sage Publications).Google Scholar
  4. Boeri, M. (2002) ‘Women after the Utopia: The Gendered Lives of Former Cult Members’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 31(3), 323–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chryssides, G. (2001) Exploring New Religions: Issues in Contemporary Religion (London and New York, Continuum International Publishing Group).Google Scholar
  6. Culpepper, E. (1978) ‘The Spiritual Movement in Radical Feminist Consciousness’, in J. Needleman and G. Baker (eds) Understanding the New Religions (New York: Seabury Press).Google Scholar
  7. Jacobs, J. (1991) ‘Gender and Power in New Religious Movements: A Feminist Discourse on the Scientific Study of Religion’, Religion, 21(4), 345–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hexham, I. and P. Karla (1997) New Religions as Global Cultures (Boulder, CO: Westview Press).Google Scholar
  9. Needleman, J. and G. Baker (eds) (1981) Understanding the New Religions (New York: Seabury Press).Google Scholar
  10. Palmer, S. (1994) Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers: Women’s Roles in New Religions (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen Hunt 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Hunt

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