Book Review: The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena

The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena. J. Gordon Melton. Visible Ink. $25. 380 pp.

J. Gordon Melton is a renowned authority on what academics call “New Religious Movements.”

He takes on a broad range of topics: ectoplasm, the tomb of Christ, the Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island, Ouija boards and the Kumbh Mela festival in India.

Article continues below Ad:

          
J. Gordon Melton

J. Gordon Melton is considered by many experts to be a cult apologist

Some of his work on cults has been described as “a travesty of research

Melton’s introduction takes a swing at a definition but misses. When describing each phenomenon, his tone whipsaws between critical and credulous, often without obvious justification.

And sometimes he doesn’t provide enough context. For instance, if you don’t know what the Western Esoteric tradition is, you’ll be wondering. He mentions it a lot.

And he does an entire entry about the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem without ever citing the cryptic Quran verse that is the root of the tradition — and never mentions Jerusalem.

But this is an entertaining and fascinating look at a variety of ways that people experience belief.

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Jan. 5, 2008, http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday January 5, 2008.
Last updated if a date shows here:

   

More About This Subject

AFFILIATE LINKS

Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.