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George Chryssides

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Academic Dr. George Chryssides

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About this page

Dr. George D. Chryssides is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, England. He is a Unitarian.

Identified in Tilman Hausherr's Cult Apologist FAQ as a cult apologist for Sun Myung Moon.
Last Wednesday, the Globe reported that Hong and McNamara have been accused of plagiarizing from a largely favorable 1991 book about the Unification Church by George Chryssides, a British religious scholar. Yet the story -- by Globe staffer Joseph Kahn -- proves nothing except that Hong and McNamara repeated a few well-known stories about the church. And McNamara, in a follow-up column, suggests that the Globe made a significant omission: the fact that both books relied on the church's official texts.
Eileen McNamara and the Moonies, Boston Phoenix, Oct. 1, 1998
(...) It was an attorney for the Moons who circulated a series of passages from "The Advent of Sun Myung Moon," a flattering portrayal of the cult by George Chryssides, that he alleged were stolen by Nansook Hong, a former daughter-in-law of the Rev. Moon who has far less kind things to say in her just-published memoirs about life in "the True Family."

Ms. Hong's book, "In the Shadow of the Moons," is a memoir of a young woman forced into marriage with the crown prince of the Moon family when she was only 15. It is her story of the abuse she suffered for 14 years until she escaped with her five children in 1995. Her publisher, Little, Brown & Co., hired me to help Ms. Hong craft her narrative.

This is what the Moonies say we "stole" from Mr. Chryssides:

Is the wording similar in all three passages? Sure it is. This is church lore, passed orally among members. Like any oft-repeated story, it settles into a familiar form. In telling the story of ''Little Red Riding Hood,'' wouldn't we all note her mother's warning not to ''leave the path?'' Wouldn't we all have her exclaim, ''What big teeth you have'' to the disguised wolf?

This is an ugly time in America. Accusation alone destroys reputations. The respect we once had for evidence, the attention we once paid to an accuser's motives, has been usurped by a national game of ''gotcha.'' The media play it. Political candidates play it. Special prosecutors play it. False messiahs play it, too. The price we all pay is an erosion of human decency.
Caught up in the 'gotcha' mill, Boston Globe, Sep. 25, 1998


AcademicSecular New Religions and the Internet by George Chryssides, DISKUS Vol. 4, No.2 (1996)
The author explores NRM-related use of the internet, taking as examples two new religious movements and their critics. The Jehovah's Witnesses' attitude to the Net is cautious, fearful of 'apostasy'. The Church of Scientology provides a contrasting case study of legal battles and successes. Anti-cultists using the Internet include principally the American Family Foundation (USA) and the Reachout Trust (Britain). The article provides numerous website addresses, highlighting the problems posed for students and scholars by the Net's vast resources.

AcademicSecular New Religious Movements: Some Problems of Definition by George Chryssides, DISKUS Volume 2 No. 2 (Autumn 1994)
The paper sets out to develop a more appropriate and more widely acceptable definition of new religious movements than the different and often implicit ones used by scholars, by 'anti-cultists' and by religious movements themselves. Seeking to make explicit criteria which are already intuitively applied by both academics and anti-cultists the author proposes three criteria for a New Religious Movement: it is recent, it is 'outside the mainstream' and it attracts converts from the indigenous culture.

AcademicSecular The Seat of Authority in Unitarianism by George Chryssides, DISKUS Volume 4 No. 1 (Spring 1996)
The paper deals with the influence on the Unitarian movement of the radical ideas of James Martineau, who in 'The Seat of Authority in Religion' (1890) rejected the Church, scripture and the figure of Jesus (except as examplar) as sources of authority, arguing that reason alone is the arbiter of truth. After Martineau the necessity for Biblical exegesis to vindicate Unitarian teachings disappeared, opening Unitarianism to freedom of thought, reason and conscience.


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Last Updated: Oct. 20, 2001
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