Cults & Alt Religions



SLN #: 87689
Course Prefix: LAW-737
Course Section: 001
Credit Hours: 3/4
Instructor(s): Demaine

Course Description:
This seminar provides students an opportunity to study laws and policies governing cults and alternative religions. While the definition of a “cult” will be a topic of initial study in the seminar, it may be conceived of loosely as a group with a charismatic leader whose members are persuaded to relinquish their self-identities and material possessions in furtherance of the group’s goals. In addition to analyzing the definition of a “cult,” the first part of the seminar will be devoted to discussing the various types of cults, studying particular cults, and learning about cultic activities. The remainder of the seminar will cover domestic and foreign legal and policy issues generated by cults, including the legal rights of cultic organizations, anti-cult organizations, cult members, and cult members’ families. To the degree that religious movements falling outside the mainstream, coventional religions are conceptually similar to cults or treated similarly under the law, they also will be covered.

Students may take the seminar for either three or four credits. Students who select the latter option will be responsible for completing additional, and more involved, assignments than students pursuing the former option. These assignments may include, for example, submitting comments and questions on the weekly readings, and submitting a lengthier final paper.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3/4
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Written Assignment: Depends on number of credits
Graduation Writing Requirement: Yes*
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes*
Skills Requirement: No
Note: Only one of the above listed requirements can be fulfilled with this course.
Final Exam Given: No
Mid Term or Other Exam: No
Paper or In-Class Presentation: Yes
Participation Points: Yes
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Additional Attendance Policy: Yes
Online Course Site: Blackboard