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5 The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness: Demographic Patterns, 1998–2011

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1. Title Title of document 5 The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness: Demographic Patterns, 1998–2011 - Sects & Stats
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country James Lewis; University of Tromsø; Norway
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious studies; sociology
4. Subject Keyword(s) new religions; popular religion; the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness
5. Subject Subject classification Contemporary non-Christian & para-Christian cults & sects (HRQM)
6. Description Abstract In Chapters Four and Five, I examine data that I and others gathered on members of two NRMs, the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) and the Order of Christ Sophia (OCS). These two groups provide contrasting examples of longitudinal approaches, and in these two chapters findings from surveys are presented and discussed in terms of the parameters laid out by Lorne Dawson in his 1996 summary of NRM conversion research, “Who Joins New Religions and Why: Twenty Years of Research and What Have We Learned?” (later republished as a chapter in his 2003 reader, Cults and New Religions, and in his 2006 textbook, Comprehending Cults). The Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness is a medium-sized New Religion that can roughly be described as a blend of Sant Mat (Radhasoami) and “new age” teachings. In 1998, a sample of 566 movement participants responded to a demographic survey administered by a colleague. Then again in late 2011, I administered a much longer, online questionnaire to MSIA’s active North American membership, eventually gathering 531 respondents. Chapter Five compares the profiles derived from these two surveys. Though in many ways the average participant remained essentially the same between 1998 and 2011, in the intervening 13 years the membership excelled in terms of the classic indicators of achievement – education, income and professional achievement.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Nov-2014
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.24747
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Sects & Stats
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) United States,
1998; 2011,
gender; age; marital status; parenthood status; education; occupation; income; political affiliation; religious heritage; length of membership; initial contact
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd