Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"New agendas in social movement studies" conference

Conference announcement and call for papers

National University of Ireland Maynooth
November 26th 2011

Full details here
Papers discussing new religious movements under this rubric are welcome.

Deadline for abstracts: October 1st. Papers submitted by November 14th will be included in a CD-ROM for all participants and may be included in a subsequent publication.

Further details online as above or from

Laurence Cox

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Irish Research Network on Alternative Spiritualities and New Religious Movements (IRNAS)

This network, launched together with Ireland's new religious movements on March 30th 2011, brings together researchers at all stages of their careers who are objectively examining the field of alternative spiritualities and New Religious Movements in Ireland across academic disciplines. The network has been formed in response to the need evident for such an organisation following the “Alternative Spiritualities, the New Age and New Religious Movements in Ireland” interdisciplinary conference held at NUI Maynooth in 2009.

The aim of the network is to support each other, create networking opportunities and to provide expertise to the wider community. Over the coming year the network hopes to provide members with

  • Updates on upcoming conferences / calls for papers
  • List of member expertise for media contact / statutory body liaisons / educational work
  • Areas of interest in relation to postgraduate supervision
  • Annual seminar / workshops
  • Yearly online publication
  • Opportunities for members to seek research partners and share information

Being part of the network will allow members to be part of the broader community of researchers working in this area. Our mailing list will enable members to keep each other up to date on the latest funding, research, conference and publication opportunities in the area of alternative spiritualities and New Religious Movements. Our website will provide a public platform making the expertise of those members who choose to be listed available to statutory bodies, media contacts, educational requests and potential postgraduate students. This is a research network to advance understanding, provide information, to provide support and access to others in the research community rather than a place to debate the truth or religious value of particular religious beliefs or practices.

To join please contact Olivia Cosgrove, giving the following details:

  • Full name and title
  • Institutional affiliation (if any) and email address
  • Area(s) of research interest
  • Are you willing for your details to be included in the online list of member expertise?
  • If so, are you in a position to supervise postgraduate students?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book reviews: Ireland's new religious movements

This page updated as new reviews and comments appear.

Review by Ian Forest-Jones in Australian Religious Studies Review 25/2 (2013), pp. 318-9, online here.

Review by Dominique Beth Wilson in Journal of Religious History 37/1 (2013), pp. 138-9, online here.

Review by Liselotte Frisk in Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 16/3 (2013), pp. 110-111

"The Personal, the Political, and the Spiritual: Still Sorting It Out After All These Years," by Mary Farrell Bednarowski (reviewing Ciara O'Connor's chapter for this book and other feminist writers), Feminist collections 33/4 (fall 2012).

Review by Mikael Rothstein in Numen: international review for the history of religions 59/4 (2012), pp. 424-5

Review by Alex Norman in International Journal for the Study of New Religions 3/1 (2012), pp. 123-5), online here.

A briefer mention in Blogtrotter by author John L Murphy (DeVry University).

Review by Eamon Maher in Estudios Irlandeses vol. 7 (2012), pp. 190 - 2, online here.

Review by James Kapaló in Irish Journal of Sociology vol. 19 no. 2 (2011), pp. 188-9, first page online here.

Comments on Attracta Brownlee's research, including her chapter for this book, in New Hibernia Review 15/2 (Summer 2011), pp. 6-7.

Review by Richard Cimino in Religion Watch 26/3 (Mar-Apr 2011), p. 10.

Gladys Ganiel, TCD / Irish School of Ecumenics, reviews the book in her blog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marion Bowman to launch "Ireland's New Religious Movements", March 30th

Marion Bowman will launch the just-published Ireland's New Religious Movements with a talk on "Contemporary Celticity" in Dublin on Wednesday, March 30th.

Dr Bowman is Senior Lecturer and Head of Dept. of Religious Studies at the Open University and a leading researcher on contemporary paganism, Celtic spirituality, the New Age, folk religion, place and tradition. More details on her work are available at

The book launch is at 6.30 pm on Wed. March 30th in the Gutter Bookshop ("We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars"), Cow's Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 (opposite Lord Edward St.) Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. For more information on the event, please contact Ciara at 086 3678501.

The event will also see the launch of an Irish research network on alternative spiritualities, the New Age and new religious movements (contact: olivia.cosgrove AT

Further details of the book here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ireland's new religious movements: book now out

The book Ireland's new religious movements, edited by Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling and Peter Mulholland, is now available from Cambridge Scholars (2011). Selected papers from the "Alternative spiritualities, the New Age and new religious movements in Ireland" conference were thoroughly edited and rewritten into a systematic overview of the field, marking the first such research-based publication.

Empirical topics include neo-paganism, Buddhism, Islam, evangelical Christianity, New Age groups, traveller religion and visions. Themes include Ireland as global homeland, "Celticity", migrant religion, the commodification of religion, gender, healing and the meaning of "spirituality".

The first half of the introduction is available as a sample PDF here; the dust cover, blurb and endorsements are online here. The table of contents is as follows:

Ch. 1) Editors’ Introduction: Understanding Ireland’s New Religious Movements. Olivia Cosgrove, Laurence Cox, Carmen Kuhling and Peter Mulholland

Ch. 2) Mapping the “New Religious Landscape” and the “New Irish”: Uses and Limitations of the Census. Malcolm Macourt

Part I: The Changing Religious Faces of Ireland

- The Long History of New Religions in Ireland

Ch. 3) The Wild Irish girl and the “Dalai Lama of Little Thibet”: The Long Encounter between Ireland and Asian Buddhism. Laurence Cox and Maria Griffin

Ch. 4) Inventing the Concept of Celtic Buddhism: A Literary and Intellectual Tradition. John L. Murphy

- Alternative Spiritualities and New Religious Movements in Contemporary Ireland

Ch. 5) Irish Travellers and “Powerful” Priests: An Alternative Response to New Age Healing Techniques. Attracta Brownlee

Ch. 6) Irish Neo-paganism: World-view and Identity. Jenny Butler

Ch. 7) The Changing Face of Irish Christianity: The Evangelical Christian Movement in the Republic. Ruth Jackson Noble

Ch. 8) A Course in Miracles in Ireland: From Channelled Authority to Therapy and Self-help. Ruth Bradby

- Making Sense of Religious Experience

Ch. 9) The Psychological Dimension of Religious Experience: Spirituality and Schizotypy. Diarmuid B. Verrier and Brian M. Hughes

Ch. 10) Marian Apparitions, the New Age and the FÁS Prophet. Peter Mulholland

Part II: Irish religion as global

- The Globalised Irish Religious Market

Ch. 11) New Age Re-enchantment in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. Carmen Kuhling

Ch. 12) “Becoming Whole”: An Exploration of Women’s Choices in the Holistic and New Age Movement in Ireland. Ciara O’Connor

Ch. 13) A Crucial Site of Difference? Minority Religions and Attitudes to Globalisation in Ireland. Olivia Cosgrove

- Ireland as Global Homeland

Ch. 14) Irish Base, Global Religion: The Fellowship of Isis. Catherine Maignant

Ch. 15) “Celticity” in Australian Alternative Spiritualities. Carole M. Cusack

Ch. 16) “Celtic Spirituality” in Contemporary Ireland. Bożena Gierek

- Migrant Religion in Ireland

Ch. 17) Islam in Ireland: Organising a Migrant Religion. Oliver Scharbrodt

Ch. 18) Turkish Islam in Ireland: Exploring the Modus Operandi of Fethullah Gülen’s Neo-brotherhood. Jonathan Lacey

NB that some online booksellers still list the book by its working title, "New religion in Ireland". It is available from the publishers, Cambridge Scholars, as well as Amazon and Blackwells under the correct title, and other online listings are in the process of changing (25.2.2011). Apologies for any difficulties caused by this.