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From Children of God to Children of Members: Changing Views on Children in TFI 1988-2013
Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Religious Studies. (KIG)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0132-2074
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

From Children of God to Children of Members: Changing Views on Children in TFI 1988-2013

The Family International is one of the most extensively studied new religious movements in the world. They are also one of few surviving new religious movements founded in the 1960’s. Due to the group’s continuous prophecy as well as society’s strong reactions to their radical theology and intense critique of mainstream society the movement has changed rapidly throughout its history. The movement’s comprehension of childhood and its attitude towards children have had specific consequences for the group in terms of intervention from social services and raids against Family communes. For some children particularly this has led to frequent relocating and homeschooling in order to limit contact with people outside the group and to avoid attracting attention from social services. The view of children within the group changed dramatically in 2010, when the organizational change “the Reboot” declared children no longer members but “children of members”.

This paper examines the changes in normative views on children’s roles and the idea of childhood within The Family International in the last 25 years with particular focus on the Swedish context. By analyzing the movement’s own publications, academic publications, and media coverage on the group as well as biographical texts, a picture of a rapidly changing movement emerges. How has children’s roles within the movement been understood during the last 25 years? The paper argues that the movement has had to reevaluate its understanding of children and childhood as a consequence of the increasing awareness in mainstream society of children’s welfare.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
The Family International, children, new religious movements
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Kultur, identitet och gestaltning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13426OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-13426DiVA: diva2:676713
Conference
Changing Religious Movements in a Changing World, Falun (Sweden), 21–24 June 2013
Available from: 2013-12-06 Created: 2013-12-06 Last updated: 2015-11-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf