A Study of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness Religious Innovation and Cultural Change

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-11-19
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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MSIA, the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, has been called the Cadillac of cults and the leader was once dubbed the "Hollywood guru." Those interested in new religions only know MSIA from these kinds of labels. However, when looked at from a qualitative sociological perspective, a more complex story of religious innovation and cultural change emerges. An important study in religious syncretism, A Study of the Movement of Inner Awareness analyzes the ways MSIA exemplifies the blending of Eastern and Western religion with therapeutic self-help traditions in pop psychology and New Age thought and presents a sensitive portrayal of its leaders and members.

Author Biography

Diana G. Tumminia holds emeritus status at California State University, USA, where she taught a variety of courses: social psychology, sociological theory, race relations, and women's studies (Women in Spirituality). Tumminia is considered an expert in the field of social movements, in particular, new religious movements. She has authored numerous articles on teaching, religious practices, and ethnographic studies.

James R. Lewis is currently an associate professor in the department of history and religious studies at the University of Tromsø, Norway, and a leading scholar of new religious movements. His reference volumes, Cults in America and The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, both won CHOICE book awards.

Table of Contents

1. What is MSIA?
2. Entrance into the Field
3. Beginnings
4. Prana
5. How They Came into the Movement
6. Being a Minister
7. Charisma: John-Roger and John Morton
8. In Your Dreams
9. Survey and Comparative Demographics 2011
10. Stereotypes and Social Conflict

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