‘The Silent Majority?’ Understanding Apostate Testimony Beyond ‘Insider / Outsider’ Binaries in the Study of New Religions

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/609853
Title:
‘The Silent Majority?’ Understanding Apostate Testimony Beyond ‘Insider / Outsider’ Binaries in the Study of New Religions
Authors:
Gregg, Stephen
Abstract:
Apostate testimony about new religious movements (NRMs) tends to polarise opinion. The public gain much of their information about NRMs from ex-members who are generally highly vocal and negative in assessing their experience. Academics, by contrast, have traditionally been wary of ex-member testimony: Lonnie D. Kliever, for example, writes, “apostates from new religions do not meet the standards of personal objectivity, professional competence, and informed understanding required of expert witnesses” (Kliever 1995:12; italics original). While the academic generally writes as an ‘outsider’ to the organisation being studied, the ex-member will often claim to have the advantage of knowing both sides of the story, having been both insider and outsider. It is our purpose in this discussion to evaluate the testimony of the ex-member, and to discuss how such testimonies may be used, both in the academic study of new religions, and also within the broader study of contemporary religion.
Citation:
In: . E. Gallagher (ed), Visioning New and Minority Religions: Projecting the Future
Publisher:
Ashgate Publishing (Routledge)
Issue Date:
3-Feb-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/609853
Type:
Book chapter
Language:
en
ISBN:
9781472458131
Appears in Collections:
FOSS

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorGregg, Stephenen
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-19T15:41:56Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-19T15:41:56Zen
dc.date.issued2015-02-03en
dc.identifier.citationIn: . E. Gallagher (ed), Visioning New and Minority Religions: Projecting the Futureen
dc.identifier.isbn9781472458131en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2436/609853en
dc.description.abstractApostate testimony about new religious movements (NRMs) tends to polarise opinion. The public gain much of their information about NRMs from ex-members who are generally highly vocal and negative in assessing their experience. Academics, by contrast, have traditionally been wary of ex-member testimony: Lonnie D. Kliever, for example, writes, “apostates from new religions do not meet the standards of personal objectivity, professional competence, and informed understanding required of expert witnesses” (Kliever 1995:12; italics original). While the academic generally writes as an ‘outsider’ to the organisation being studied, the ex-member will often claim to have the advantage of knowing both sides of the story, having been both insider and outsider. It is our purpose in this discussion to evaluate the testimony of the ex-member, and to discuss how such testimonies may be used, both in the academic study of new religions, and also within the broader study of contemporary religion.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherAshgate Publishing (Routledge)en
dc.subjectNew Religious Movementsen
dc.subjectApostasyen
dc.subjectInsider Outsideren
dc.title‘The Silent Majority?’ Understanding Apostate Testimony Beyond ‘Insider / Outsider’ Binaries in the Study of New Religionsen
dc.typeBook chapteren
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