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Ageing in new religions: the varieties of later experiences

Barker, Eileen (2011) Ageing in new religions: the varieties of later experiences. Diskus, 12. pp. 1-23. ISSN 0967-8948

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In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s and 1980s a wide variety of new religions became visible in the West, attracting young converts who often dropped out of college or gave up their careers to work long hours for the movements with little or no pay. Half a century or so later, those converts are now in their fifties or sixties, and approaching an age when, in the wider society, they would be considered of pensionable age; some are beginning to develop medical problems, and quite a few are anxious about what their future might hold. Few have paid into pension plans or for medical insurance. This paper addresses some of the challenges that the new religious movements (NRMs) and their members are facing with this demographic shift from a movement consisting of enthusiastic young converts with few dependents to one in which there may be a substantial proportion of children and a growing number of ageing members able to offer only a limited contribution to the resources of the NRM as they find themselves increasingly dependent on others. A brief comparison with the arrangements of a few longer established religions is included.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
LSE Human Rights
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 10:50
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 14:22

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