Category talk:New religious movements

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I object to this catagory[edit]

"New" is necessarilly subjective, open to interpretation,a nd fleeting. I'd like this catagory done away with forthwith. Sam [Spade] 00:29, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

What would you replace it with? -- Cimon 00:37, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

My response would be to question the utility of catagorizing religious movements via timeline. I would find a catagory based on doctrine or patrimony i.e. Abrahamic religions or "Indian religionists" or Paganism, etc... to be superior.Sam [Spade] 00:59, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
According to my knowledge, sociologists of religions (like Eileen Barker) define "new" with after WWII or new to a certain culture. See new religious movements. I am happy that GaryD has done so much work on this matter but he has also included some pre-WWII movements. If this has no scholarly basis (what I have to verify) then, I think, this has to be undone for those cases. To deal with Sam Spade's objections, we could introduce other categories likes "Category:Sects" and "Category:Sects of Christianity", "Category:Sects of Hinduism". There is a difference between a young sect and a new religious movement. I thought that sect did not have negative connotations in English, right? Andries 07:50, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think the material pertaining to the nineteenth century is crucial, because a reader cannot gain a context for current religious movements, or New Age for that matter, without Theosophy, Steiner, Gurdijeff, Spiritism, etc. I don't believe I am alone in marking the significance of this larger grouping. I would go along with ArcticFrog's idea of hooking a specific limit, such as "since 1850" or "since the nineteenth century" to the category name for this purpose, rather than sacrificing the crucial pre-WWII material. --Gary D 07:59, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
In actuality Theosophy is the wrong word. It goes back easily to the 3rd centuary. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine are the issues you are focusing on in your argument. Theosophy was a "stolen" term by Blavatsky from the Philosophers during the period of her life. Theosophy is under Philosophy/MetaPhysics and Philosophy/Religion. It was there before, during and after Blavatsky. The Authors of the Blavatsky-school and the various Societies are the focus here. JEMead (talk) 18:48, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Sect is neutral, but not often used. Sam [Spade] 15:30, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think there will be problems with defining "new". Many religions change from decade to decade and there will be problems and controversy dividing them up. Several of what many consider "New Age" religions started in the 19th century, and if they are called 'new', then so must Mormonism, which also developed in the 19th century. Also, many religioins labeled as 'fundamentalist' would also be 'new', since the type of religion this referrs to started in the 1920's or so. Similar movements go back into history, but there is a definite line here. Where is the boundary between 'old' and 'new' going to be set? As for the word sect, I think the word 'branch' might work better, but as long as 'sect' is applied equally across the board, it might be ok. I do think it has a slight neg. connotation though. --ArcticFrog 15:42, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog
Indeed, there are always problems with edge cases. For example, if we view the continuous color spectrum between green and blue, we can come up with wavelengths of light color in the midle where there will be great disagreement whether that light is green or it is blue. Yet this does not mean there is no such thing as "green" or as "blue." As I mention above, I am trying to ensure inclusion of all the spiritist material in this category, because its progeny are still so influential today. Something like "Seventh-day Adventist" and the Millerites might be in the middle, say, and we can argue whether to group them in or out. Also, as you mention, certain strains of fundamentalism might properly be included in this category; there, we would be arguing whether or not they had started something sufficiently new and distinct to merit inclusion. In sum, the edge cases must be handled, but they do not invalidate the cohesiveness of the core material sought to be collected in this category. --Gary D 07:59, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"Category:New Age"[edit]

While history is of course a continuous phenomenon, I would argue that there is a fairly-well recognized grouping of movements occurring after the mid-nineteenth century, especially in the west. We have been kicking around "Category:New Ag e" as well, and this was actually an attempt at something more definite than that. What is "new" will of course change in a hundred years, but for now and the immediate future, this category does indeed point to a particular collection of movements. We could rename the category if a better title is found, but it is the cohesion of these movements in the modern mind that makes this category worthwhile. --Gary D 00:57, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Category:New Age sounds acceptable to me. Sam [Spade] 00:59, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Tell you what, then--I would like to bring in BF and Andries on this, because they tended to push in other directions, name-wise. It's the grouping that I'm after, any consensus name is fine by me. I'll even do the legwork on renaming. We at least have started the ball rolling. --Gary D 01:19, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

While we're waiting for BF and Andries to show up, I would point up one difference between "new religious movements" and "new age", as I actually wanted to create a category for each: While "new religious movements" would go as far back as the mid-nineteenth century and concern mainly just religion, "new age" would be much more recent, say, mid-twentieth century, and deal with other topics as well, such as self-help, anomalous phenomena, music, anti-(Vietnam)war, etc., in a wider cultural context. --Gary D 01:19, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree with BF that New Age is broader than religion and should be a seperate category. It can not be a replacement or something for the category NRM. Andries 08:02, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps you could label a limit in the name itself, like "new religious movements, since 1850". I'm not sure a lot of "New Age" stuff is even religion; 'crystal power' is more of a cultural thing, but it gets included with 'New Age' a lot. Also: be careful about who you list as New Age, people like to jibe at each other's religions a bit by calling them 'New Age'. It is used as a jibe somewhat. --ArcticFrog 15:49, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)ArcticFrog

Great awakening[edit]

I have a further question: Would the great awakening be covered by this category?
I'm going to say I don't think so, because 1) it's a little too early, and 2) it doesn't appear to have led to any denominations, groups, or movements that stepped out of the mainstream fold and maintained a separate identity through today. I do note (from reading the Wikipedia articles, 'cuz I'm no expert) that Mormonism may have come from the Second Great Awakening, and I would include (in fact, already have included) Mormonism within this category. --Gary D 02:11, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

How do you add here?[edit]

I want to add: (no wiki page yet)
Swami Roberto- A spiritual guru in in Italy who does healing, darshans and advocates meditation.--Jondel 12:08, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Jondel, you can not add pages here directly. You first have to create the article on Swami Roberto (which I have just done) and then add to the page of [[Swami Roberto]] the following [[category:new religious movement|surname]] . Andries 12:44, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I object to inclusion of old concepts such as Karma here[edit]

Gary, I do not think that Karma should be categorized under NRM. It is an age-old concept used both by old religious movements and NRMs. Andries 21:08, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I essentially agree with you, Andries, so I had to dig back in to figure out why I would have put an "old" topic like that in here. It turns out the Karma article has a big section on how it is now being treated (and perhaps mutated) by the NRMs. Here's what I said at the time on the Karma talk page:
"I have added this article to Category:New religious movements, not because the concept itself is new (obviously), but because of the growing section in this article on its treatment by the new religious movements. --Gary D 19:04, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)"
I wanted to give that substantial piece from the larger article some visibility in this category, but I felt that breaking that material into a separate article would do too much violence to the current article, and for the sake of categorization only it didn't seem justified. And there's no way to categorize only a portion of an article. Please take a look at that section, and let me know if you have any suggestions. --Gary D 21:29, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

O1thomas's question[edit]

HELP!! This page which came up for editing is not the page whch is published. Is this vandalism? I am a new editor and I want to add a subcategory. [--O1thomas]

O1thomas, I originally created this category page, and maybe I can help. A few preliminary points:

  • Questions like yours should be placed on the talk page rather than in the article or category page itself; hence, I have moved your question here.
  • After composing your question on the edit screen, before you hit the "save page" button, you should add your name and the date and time to your question, by pressing the signature button located second from the right, above the edit box.

Now, on to your question:

  • This page is as it has always been. Its editing screen does look different from its published form, but that is true for all pages—the edit screen always looks different from the finished product. It is not vandalism.
  • To add a subcategory, you would not edit here on the parent category page; instead, you would go to the page for the subcategory, and add this category at the bottom of that page, as a parent category: [[Category:New religious movements]]
  • Just a point of terminology: If you are talking about adding Hyponoesis, that is not a subcategory, but is rather called an "article" or a "page." By the way, that article could use the notation {{substub}} added to the bottom of its page, to alert the Wikipedia system that it is currently just a very short beginning of an article.
  • I see from your user profile that you are very new to Wikipedia. I suggest you might want to go slowly and learn a little bit more about the system before getting into more complex system editing. That said, welcome to Wikipedia! I'm sure you will be an expert in no time.

--Gary D 22:16, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)

Ashtar Command[edit]

Should groups like the 'Ashtar Command' be added here?

Move to or Create :Category:Spiritual Movements[edit]

Religion realy is formal , what you fill out in your forms. Spiritual is different. A muslim(or catholic , etc) can take classes on meditation, universal peace, higher consciousness, cosmic retribution, etc. I would like to create or move some to (new)Spiritual movements. I believe many spiritual movements really don't like to create new religions. --Jondel 02:45, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

This category is growing too big and unwieldy[edit]

This category is growing too big and unwieldy. Hence I propose separating this category into
1. category:founders and leaders of new religious movements
2. critics of new religious movements
3. scholars of new religious movements containing among others Eileen Barker
4. concepts used by new religious movements containing among others karma
5. concepts used to describe new religious movements containing among others charismatic authority

Andries 17:04, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

There is a clear consensus that the category should be allowed to remain as is. Cunard (talk) 05:22, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this category be retired as inherently pejorative and/or redundant, narrowed and redefined so as to make it useful and non-redundant, or allowed to remain as-is due to concerns being unfounded. ⇔ ChristTrekker 15:40, 23 December 2016 (UTC)



  • That is delete. Who is to say what is new or old? Debresser (talk) 16:55, 24 December 2016 (UTC)


  • support a narrower, more precise definition (or better terminology accomplishing the same) ⇔ ChristTrekker 18:43, 23 December 2016 (UTC)


  • Support keeping the category. The term is, so far as I can determine, still the most frequently used term in the academic field for the groups it describes, and on that basis I can see no reasonable objection to our not using the term most frequently used in academia to describe these groups. Also, I have to notice that the first comment made here refers only to one specific group within the larger NRM field, and that there is no clear indicator of what, if any, term or terms we should use to replace this term in describing all the groups which have been so described, not just the single group mentioned below. I also believe that at least part of the argument below completely fails to address the matter of several NRMs, including for instance Scientology, which cannot be categorized as subcultures of subgroups of any other religions, which would make using that alternative at least as objectionable, if not more so, than the current term used. John Carter (talk) 17:53, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per John Carter. (Hi, John. Haven't seen you in a while.) OP has "skin in the game" because of great interest in Messianic Judaism. And while I assume good faith, and also do not wish to discuss here what the right characterization of Messianic Judaism even is, I'd have to evaluate anything that OP suggests with at least a certain amount of wariness for that reason. This category and Category:Subcultures of religious movements may substantially overlap, but they're not identical, and neither is fully a subset of the other, so they both need to exist. As for whether or not it is pejorative, we need to have something to call it. It seems to me that this term, widely used in academia, is superior to both (a) pejorative terms it replaces (like "cult") or (b) a new coinage that nobody knows yet. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:28, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support keeping this commonly used, generally understood, and non-pejorative term. ("New" is certainly not a pejorative!) Clean Copytalk 19:07, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support This is a non-pejorative term for the religions and religious movements that were in development from the 19th century onwards. Or to quote the relative article: "Scholars usually consider the mid-19th century as the beginning of the era of new religious movements." Dimadick (talk) 13:32, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. It seems like a neutral and often-used term. There's certainly a claim to be made that "new" is subjective, but it's really not that different than the New World, which has also become a common term. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 04:50, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Objection to reasoning of Ninja Robot Pirate's vote. Discussion in Threaded discussion?--User:Dwarf Kirlston - talk 04:46, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

Summary: During discussion regarding inclusion of Messianic Judaism, the point was made that this category, at best, signifies little that category:Subcultures of religious movements does not, and, at worst, is just as pejorative as the term "cult" that it largely replaces. Contention about this label goes back to the early days of WP, as evidenced above. ⇔ ChristTrekker 15:40, 23 December 2016 (UTC) Addendum: Please add comments and opinions here, and only your vote in the section above, to facilitate vote-tallying and discussion both. — 18:13, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Actually, according to the standard practice, it is considered reasonable to add comments in the tally sections if those comments directly relate to the reasons why a given !vote is taken. John Carter (talk) 18:19, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I've definitely seen it done that way, but that's not what the example at WP:RFC suggested. Since this is the first time I've formally asked for an RfC, I'm just trying to follow the most recent guidelines. ⇔ ChristTrekker 18:46, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, I think the idea for the suggested format is that one's vote can change, but you don't want to have to move a discussion thread to do that, and since presence of even a struck or otherwise contraindicated entry may get miscounted as a vote, it's better to separate the two. ⇔ ChristTrekker 19:05, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

I'd like to see "new religious movement" clarified. Several NRMs (as currently used here on WP) are not "new", having existed for over a century. So I believe the choice of term is misleading, despite whatever academic use it has. Specifically regarding Messianic Judaism, as already noted elsewhere, it is justifiably syncretic as well as a subculture. It's modern incarnation is relatively new, but messianism goes back at least to the foundation of Christianity, if not further. (Expression of Christianity as a whole looks different now than it did 2000 years ago, so it's not surprising that MJ does too.) The fact that NRM is the modern PC equivalent of "cult" is the troubling issue in that case. I understand that some movements may not be factions of other religions. Which leads me back to the question, what is NRM? Is it really meant to be only movements that are new? What is "new"? Is it really meant to replace labeling as "cult"? What are the criteria for a cult? If NRM≡cult, then why the PC weasel words that just add confusion? Bottom line (and to address StevenJ81), yes my primary interest here relates to MJ, but I also thought it worth a broader discussion of NRM as a whole, to benefit other WP editors on this subject. (Surely this won't be the only place it comes up.) I don't think MJ should be labeled or categorized as NRM (arguably quite old, and not a cult by any standard I know), but Avraham, whom I have much respect for as an editor, disagrees. The history of the article (and others) shows this has gone back and forth more than once. Clarifying NRM would be beneficial. ⇔ ChristTrekker 18:57, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

The New religious movement article points out that Mormonism, Shakerism, and the Witnesses, among others, have been studies as New Religious Movements albeit based on Christianity and the messianism upon which it was founded. The Messianic Judaism article is discussing the movement as it developed in the 20th century. If the 18th century Shaker interpretation of Christianity can be classified as an NRM, it is not inappropriate to consider Messianic Judaism as such as well as long as it is described as such in reliable sources (and I believe Cohn-Sherbok does so). -- Avi (talk) 19:08, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
So does The illustrated encyclopedia of active new religions, sects, and cults. See List of new religious movements. -- Avi (talk) 19:11, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I think some of the individual groups within the broader field of Messianic Judaism are also included separately in some reference works. John Carter (talk) 15:59, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
@ChristTrekker: It, unfortunately, isn't our place to basically require the activities of academics be clarified. The three-word term "new religious movement" is the term that the academic community came up with to serve as a less sensationalist term to replace cult and sect, both of which have legitimate and reasonable definitions, but which became problematic after the anticult movement. So far as I can tell, having been involved in this topic of NRMs for some time, including previous discussions with Freemasons about their group being included and also specifically about the use of the word "new" in that term, the academic community basically seems to have chosen the term to avoid the sensationalistic aspects of cult and sect. As for why "new' was specifically chosen for inclusion in both the terms "new religion" and "new religious movement," I could only guess. but I think it not unreasonable that the word "new" does indicate that many or most of these groups date from the Reformation or later (so maybe sort of new) and that the word can also be seen as being an indicator that at least some or most of these groups are perceived as being in some way "outside the norm" and do not receive the same level of social acceptance as older groups, which tends to be true about pretty much all new groups. But that is just a guess. Personally, I would prefer it myself if they could choose some shorter term which doesn't cause as many questions, but the academic world don't listen to me. John Carter (talk) 15:59, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Regarding "New World" being perfectly normal usage argued by @User: NinjaRobotPirate I don't think New World is used a lot nowadays, it's a dated term. Carries conotations of eurocentrism, colonialism, of us "discovering" them. Wine culture really is eurocentrist so I don't think its usage there contradicts this. Similarly here "New" seems to indicate a preference for the "normal" religions - those "we" impartial observers believe in. - That's what I have to say about New World. Regarding the controversy in general I think there's a similar problem perhaps with Ebonics/Black English/African American Vernacular English and other things that are looked at with prejudice in our culture. No matter what word is used "sect", "cult", "New Religious Movement" the prejudice follows into the new word and the new word becomes like a slur, despite being created exactly as a respectful way to talk about it. It's interesting how "Religious Movements founded by century/decade" would still refer to "newness" but would not carry the same connotation.--User:Dwarf Kirlston - talk 04:38, 21 January 2017 (UTC) PS:I want to note there's no Category:New World, or Category:Countries Belonging to the New World, and such a category would be viewed very suspiciously. So the parallel only goes so far.--User:Dwarf Kirlston - talk 04:42, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.