About Sacred Tribes Journal

Sacred Tribes Journal is an international refereed online journal for the ongoing study of new religious movements. The journal offers descriptive articles on new religious movements as well as articles related to the Christian engagement of these religions from leading Christian academics in the field.

The purpose of this international online journal is to explore the study of religion, including new religious movements, world religions, and popular spiritualities and "religion-like" self-identities, in a scholarly and multi-disciplinary fashion. In order to accomplish this task, this journal draws together the combined insights of sociologists, anthropologists, religious studies scholars, theologians, as well as missiologists, and those from other disciplines from around the world.

One other feature is that from time to time special editions of this journal will be dedicated to engagement with those from a variety of religious and spiritual pathways. These editions will practice and demonstrate a dialogical approach to examining key topics in religion in our time.

ISSN: 1941-8167


Sacred Tribes Journal is a gift to all of us who want to be knowledgeable about new religious movements. Too often we have settled for a doctrinal “check list” approach to our assessments of these movements. This is a journal that probes the deeper currents—the conditions out of which they emerge and the hopes and fears that shape their teachings—so that we can be more effective in calling their adherents to the abundant life that can be found in Jesus Christ.
Richard J. Mouw, Ph.D.
President Emeritus and Senior Professor of Faith and Public Life
Fuller Seminary

I can wholeheartedly endorse Sacred Tribes Journal as an exciting venture by committed evangelical Christians to engage others by taking the beliefs of people who hold different beliefs seriously. It is exactly this type of dialogue and serious discussion that Christians and all other believers desperately need in today's world.
Irving Hexham, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Religious Studies
University of Calgary

This electronic journal seeks to capture the dynamic of real-world, real-time situations for the benefit of better equipping the church. The promise of integrating the insights and perspectives of missiology, anthropology, sociology, along with the more traditional disciplines of theology and apologetics, should allows us to discover models for outreach that are more true to the human condition in all its nuances. I look forward with enthusiasm to using the Sacred Tribes Journal as a valuable resource for the latest methodologies to present the matchless gospel of Christ in the complex culture that is North America and beyond.
Rudy Gonzalez , Ph.D.
Professor of Biblical Studies
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Look inside Sacred Tribes Journal

Featuring articles by leading evangelical scholars of new religious movements

    1. About the Journal

    2. What Others Are Saying About Sacred Tribes Journal

    3. FAQs

    4. Guidelines for Contributors

    5. Writing Academic Book Reviews

    6. Resources for Academic Research

    1. Why Sacred Tribes Journal?

    2. Apologetics, Mission & New Religious Movements: A Holistic Approach

    3. The X-Tribe: Some Christian Tribal Markings

    4. Methods and Perspective in Understanding and Reaching Satanists

    5. Spiritual Warfare Profiles of Satanism: Are they Misleading?

    1. Editors' Introduction to Volume 2.1

    2. Contributing Factors in the Resurgence of Paganism in Western Society

    3. Wiccans and Jesus

    4. Musterion: God’s Story and Our Story

    5. Christians and the New Pagans

    6. Neopagan and Wiccan Views of Jesus: A Reformed Christian Assessment

    7. Animals and Morality: Four Views

    8. Editors' Introduction to Volume 2.2

    9. Neo-Paganism: Is Dialogue Possible

    10. A Postmodern Counterculture: Christian Ancestors and Neo-Pagans

    11. The Wheel of the Year

    12. Animals Matter to God

    13. Paganism, New Spirituality, and Christianity: Looking for a Holistic Ecological Ethic

    1. Editor's Introduction to Volume 3.1

    2. The Family International: A Brief Historical and Theological Overview

    3. Research Observations: The Meaning of Life in Contemporary Druidry

    4. Latter Day Saints, Rituals, Pilgrimage and Cultural Symbolics: Neglected Sources for Understanding Engagement

    5. US Religious Landscape: Analysis with Potential Implications for American Religious Identity

    6. STJ Interview with Douglas Cowan

    7. Editor's Introduction to Volume 3.2

    8. Predatory Spirituality: Vampire Religion in America

    9. Kang Jeun San: The Object of Belief in Jeung San Do

    10. D.T. Suzuki and Zen: Re-envisioning Buddhism for the West

    11. Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue - Review

    12. Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue - Review

    13. Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – And Doesn’t - Review

    14. Twilight - Review

    15. Trinity Consultation on Post-Christendom Spiritualities: Report

    1. Editor's Introduction to Volume 4.1

    2. Sacred Tribes Journal and the Study of New Religions

    3. Burning Man Festival in Alternative Interpretative Analysis

    4. Answering the Evolutionary Understanding of Humans and Nature in Neo-Spiritual Milieu

    5. The Missing Years of Jesus: The Greatest Story Never Told - Review

    6. Special Edition, Volume 4.2 - Introduction to the Peaceable Christian

    7. Resources and Contributors to this Special Edition of Sacred Tribes Journal

    8. Necessity of Worldview Understanding for Sustainable Peace

    9. Psychological Perspectives on Peace: An Evangelical Analysis

    10. Christian Schools: Training God's Soldiers or God's Peacemakers?

    11. Perspectives on a Biblical Theology of Peace

    12. A Philosopher's Reflections on Peacemaking and the Just War Theory

    13. Concluding Response

    1. Editor's Introduction to Volume 5.1

    2. Practicing Religious Conversion: Lessons from Neuroscience

    3. What Mormons Believe About God

    4. Introduction to Apologetics, Mission and New Religious Movements

    5. From the Occult to Western Esotericism

    6. The Kingdom of the Occult - Book Review

About this course

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Sacred Tribes Journal Managing Editors

If you have an idea for a journal article, contact one of our editors.

Director of Multifaith Matters John W. Morehead

John W. Morehead is the Director of Multifaith Matters. He is the co-editor and contributing author for A Charitable Orthopathy: Christian Perspectives on Emotions in Multifaith Engagement, and Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Evangelical Approach, and the editor of Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue. John has also provided expertise to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization issue group on "The Church and the New Spiritualities." He has been involved for many years in multi-faith relationships and conversations in the contexts of Islam, Mormonism, Paganism, and others. His ongoing research in multifaith engagement and religious conflict involves bringing social psychology and neuroscience into conversation with a theology of love of religious neighbors. Particular areas of interest are emotions and orthopathy, evangelical concerns for purity in relation to syncretism, intellectual and cultural humility, post-9/11 psychology, dehumanization, Christian Nationalism, as well as the cognitive science and biocultural study of religion.

Professor of Missiological Theology Michael T. Cooper

Dr. Cooper earned a PhD in Intercultural Studies with a focus on religious movements and a minor in theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He currently serves as a missiologist for a missions agency where he focuses on missiological research and equipping missionaries for effective cultural engagement. He has thirty years of missions experience, including ten years as a pioneer church planter in Romania after the fall of communism and has equipped church planters and leaders in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He is a guest faculty at Torch Trinity Graduate University, adjunct faculty at Mission India Theological Seminary, Asia Graduate School of Theology Nepal, and Ebenezer Bible College in Katmandu, and affiliate faculty at Kairos University. He has written and contributed to more than 30 books and academic articles and has presented conference lectures at the London School of Economics, University of Bordeaux, Loyola University, Baylor University, and many others. His recent book, Ephesiology: A Study of the Ephesian Movement is a best seller at William Carey Publishing.

Phil Wyman

Phil Wyman has been a pastor of a church in Salem, MA called The Gathering. He writes poetry, music, and theological ramblings. His latest work involves planting micro-churches in festival settings, and includes a combination of art and human interaction, which he calls “Blank Canvas Art.” You can read about the first art installation at Burning Man from the Christianity Today article. As an expert on Neo-Paganism and related New Religious Movements, Phil has been instrumental in breaking down relational barriers between the Witch and Christian communities in Salem, MA, and has helped train thousands of people over the last 20 years to engage their cities, their festivals, and their Neo-Pagan neighbors in creative ways.

Senior Editors

Professor of New Testament Sylvie Raquel

Dr. Raquel has twenty-five years of academic experience in teaching biblical studies. She is committed to using her knowledge for building the Kingdom of God. Her heart is for missions. She is fluent in three spoken languages (English, French, and Spanish) besides the biblical languages (Koine Greek, Hebrew) and has a working knowledge of German and Latin. She also has ministerial experience. She worked in three different international churches in the area of youth ministry, discipleship ministry, prison ministry, and ESL ministry. She participated to or led missions’ trips to Kazakhstan, France, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Zambia, and India, as well as within the U.S.A. She is now looking into teaching online English, Spanish, and French theological studies.

Professor of Missiology Gary Fujino

Dr. Fujino earned a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School focusing on how biblical forgiveness is appropriated differently among expat and Japanese Christians in an intercultural context. He is currently Professor of Diaspora Studies for the online Missional University with a focus on diaspora theory and practice for mission. He is a member of the Global Diaspora Institute, Global Diaspora Network and the North American Diaspora Educators Forum. He formerly served as an evangelist and church planter in Japan and among the Japanese diaspora with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Fujino has written extensively on diaspora both generally and specific to the Japanese context, as well as on church planting and issues of identity, race and ethnicity.

Associate Professor of World Religions Amit Bhatia

Dr. Amit Bhatia (PhD, Intercultural Studies), serves as the director of Corban University’s Bachelor of Science program for Adults In Custody through the Oregon state prison system. He is the author of Engaging Muslims & Islam: Lessons for 21st-Century American Evangelicals (2017). Amit has spent more than 20 years bridging the gap between academia and the church, serving as a pastor in several different multi-ethnic congregations during his years in seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Fully committed to training Christians for ministry and to engaging people from other faiths with the gospel of Jesus Christ, he specializes in courses on missions, world religions, and culture. He is married to Kathryn Richards Bhatia, MDiv, BCC, with whom he shares a love for Indian food, international travel and hiking in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.