Olav Hammer, (born 1958), is a Swedish professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense working in the field of history of religion. He has written four books in Swedish and one monograph Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age (2001) in English. This volume which was also Hammer's doctoral dissertation (in the year 2000 at Lund University) investigates the rhetorical strategies of legitimization of a number of related new religious movements. He is also editor of several books, including Polemical Encounters (with Kocku von Stuckrad, Brill 2007), The Invention of Sacred Tradition (with James R. Lewis, Cambridge UP 2007), Alternative Christs (Cambridge UP 2009) and Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements (with Mikael Rothstein, Cambridge UP 2012). Since January 2009, he is also the editor of the journal Numen.
In 2002 the title of årets folkbildare in Sweden was bestowed on Hammer (an honor which could best be translated as "Public educator of the year"), by the society Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildning "for his balanced and pedagogical books about the history of new religions and the causes behind people's beliefs in pseudoscience."
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