chapter  6
NRM studies in the 1980s and early 1990s
Responding to Cultic studies
ByW. Michael Ashcraft
Pages 27

The important relationship between NRM studies and the sociology of religion in the 1980s and later is illustrated by the crucial role played by NRMs in the construction of a theory of religion by Rodney Stark and William Sims Bainbridge, whose rational choice theory has become a common one in the sociology of religion. Also during this period, David G. Bromley and Anson Shupe constructed a narrative about the anticult through a series of publications that has become standard among NRM studies scholars in explaining the anticult and its motivations. They used countermovement theory to explain the symbiotic relationship between cults and the anticult. A third development in this time was the direct critique of brainwashing models. Comparison between NRM studies and Cultic studies is made by examining the two fields’ responses to the Satanic Panic in the 1980s and 1990s.