The Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) was established in 1988 in Torino, Italy. CESNUR is an international network of scholars that promotes scholarly research in the field of new religious consciousness and disseminates information based on that research. CESNUR sponsors annual conferences around the world at which scholars present papers on the study of new religions. Many of these papers are preserved on the CESNUR website. CESNUR also houses a major collection of books and other materials on new religious groups and esotericism.

CESNUR partners with WRSP on the Religious and Spiritual Movements and the Visual Arts Project. The project documents the crucial influence that new religious groups have had on the visual arts. The project presents profiles both of new religions that have significantly influenced the visual arts and of individual artists in whose career connections with one or more NRMs, or with new spiritual currents in general, have played a key role.

Project Director:
Massimo Introvigne (Center for Studies on New Religion)


Nova Religio presents scholarly interpretations and examinations of emergent and alternative religious movements. Original research, perspectives on the study of new religions, literature reviews, and conference updates keep scholars well informed on a wide range of topics including: new religions; new movements within established religious traditions; neo-indigenous, neo-polytheistic and revival movements; ancient wisdom and New Age groups; diasporic religious movements; and marginalized and stigmatized religions.

Nova Religio and WRSP have established a partnership to support the publication of Field Notes and Update essays and descriptive profiles of religious movements that further the respective missions of the journal and WRSP. Articles on religious movements may be published in the journal and/or on the website in the two following ways:

  1. Authors may submit papers on new religious movements to Nova Religio for possible publication as Field Notes essays or Update essays (3,000 to 5,000 words including endnotes). Prior correspondence with the journal co-general editors to receive guidelines for Field Notes essays or Update essays in Nova Religio is recommended. Field Notes essays should be based on original research that includes participant-observation and interviews. Update essays should be based on original research that may, but does not necessarily, include fieldwork. Although shorter than a regular Nova Religio article, a Field Notes essay and an Update essay should articulate a thesis and provide citations in Chicago Manual of Style format. The journal’s primary interest is in groups in a variety of cultural and national contexts about which there is limited scholarly information. Authors whose Field Notes essays and Update essays are accepted by Nova Religio may be invited to write a profile of the new religious movement for publication on the World Religions and Spirituality website.
  2. Authors may propose to the website editor profiles for publication on the World Religions and Spirituality website. The website’s primary interest is in expanding and broadening its coverage of religious groups, with a focus on North America. Authors whose profiles are accepted for publication on the website may use the website profile as a proposal to Nova Religio’s co-general editors to determine interest in a Field Notes essay or an Update essay prepared according to the journal’s requirements.

In the event that Field Notes/Update essays and profiles are accepted for publication by both the journal and the website, their format and content will differ to reflect the requirements of the two publications.

Project Directors:
Catherine Wessinger (Loyola University, New Orleans)
David G. Bromley (Virginia Commonwealth University)


The Pilgrimage Forum is an informal and interdisciplinary discussion group among researchers and students around the Greater Toronto Area who have interests related to pilgrimage. WRSP partners with the Pilgrimage Forum in researching pilgrimage. The Pilgrimage Sites and Practices Across the World project provides coverage of significant pilgrimage activities and places within the world religions and beyond. It also highlights key issues raised by the practice and study of pilgrimage, both historically and in the present.

Project Directors:
Simon Coleman (University of Toronto)
John Eade (University of Roehampton)
Ian Reader (University of Manchester)


The Pluralism Project was established in 1991 by Professor Diana Eck at Harvard University. The Pluralism Project describes itself as “a two decade-long research project that engages students in studying the new religious diversity in the United States.” The project missions include: (1) To document and better understand the changing contours of American religious demography, (2) To study the religious communities themselves…their informal networks and emerging institutions, their forms of adaptation and religious education in the American context, (3) To explore the ramifications and implications of America’s new plurality through case studies of particular cities and town, and (4) To discern, in light of this work, the emerging meanings of religious “pluralism,” both for religious communities and for public institutions…

WRSP is an “Affiliate” in the Pluralism Project through its Special Project, World Religions in Richmond (WRR). WRR resonates with the Pluralism Project’s missions of documenting religious / spiritual diversity in specific American communities. WRR describes its mission as “chronicling the religious/spiritual diversity that exists in the Richmond (Virginia) community. In addition to profiles of the full range of religious and spiritual congregational units in Richmond, WRR profiles the range of community organizations (businesses, educational institutions, festivals, healthcare organizations, museums, media, etc.) connected to these religious / spiritual traditions.

Project Director:
David G. Bromley


The Aleksanteri Institute, founded in 1996 at the University of Helsinki, is a national centre of research, study and expertise pertaining to Russia and Eastern Europe, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. The institute conducts and co-ordinates internationally renowned research. The Faculty of Theology is an international academic community, unaffiliated with any particular religion or belief, that studies the individual, cultural and social significance of religions from times past to the present.

Project Directors:
Kaarina Aitamurto (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki)
Maija Penttilä (Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki) 


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