Author and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, Dr. George D. Chryssides, discusses the emergence of new religions and cultism with IAFOR Chairman Stuart D.B. Picken at The IAFOR European Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2015 (ECERP2015) in Brighton, England. Dr. Chryssides offers his insights on recent and troubling examples of cults, including Jim Jones and Heaven’s Gate. He also explains the draw and fascination people experience with new religions.
Dr. George D. Chryssides is an Honorary Research Fellow in Contemporary Religion at the University of Birmingham, before which he was Head of Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, from 2001 to 2008. His main interest has been new religious movements, on which he has authored numerous books and scholarly articles. Recent publications include Historical Dictionary of Jehovah’s Witnesses (2008), Heaven’s Gate: Postmodernity and Popular Culture in a Suicide Group (2011), Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements (2012), The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements (co-edited with Benjamin E. Zeller,2014), and Jehovah’s Witnesses: Continuity and Change (2015). Dr. Chryssides was a Keynote Presenter at The IAFOR European Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2015 (ECERP2015) in Brighton, England.