Researchers in FINYAR

Are you interested in getting in touch with someone who researches new religions and alternative spirituality? Below some of the researchers active in FINYAR are presented along with their special fields of research.


Mikael Rothstein

Mikael Rothstein (b. 1961) MA and

Ph. D. Historian of religions.



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I have been studying new religions since my (extended) MA graduation in 1989. During my work I have pursued different perspectives: I have contributed with a number of "movement ethnographies", but I have primarily worked in order to describe and analyze the myths, rituals, and iconography of a variety of new religions, always along the lines of comparative religion (or the history of religions) which implies comparative investigations and the study of texts. It has been an ambition throughout my work to align the study of NRMs with the history of religions as such, and I have been happy to witness this particular subject move from a position outside the scope of my field, to a position within. I used to spend a lot of time doing field work, but at this point I am primarily engaged in the study of written sources and iconography. My interest in field research has moved to other areas as I'm currently studying the religious worlds of the last remaining hunters and gatherers of Sarawak, Borneo, as my primary subject. I have also conducted field work in Brazil and Hawai'i among indigenous groups, also with respect to religious innovations and local manifestations of NRM-like phenomena.
I have published extensively on new religions including Belief Transformations on the relation between science and religon in TM and ISKCON (1996), UFOer og rumvæsener ("UFOs and aliens) (2000) and Gud er (stadig) blå ("God is (still) blue") (2001) and many articles for a variety of journals. I have co-written and co-edited a number of things with Olav Hammer including two upcoming volumes, one on Theosophy (Brill 2012) and one on NRMs more broadly (Cambridge University Press 2012), and the chapter on NRMs in Gyldendals Religionshistorie (2. ed. 2011).
I am employed as Associate Professor at the Department of Cross Cultural and Regional Stidies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. I am also a tenured Visiting Professor at the Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania.

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