Barker, Eileen

Professor Emeritus Eileen Barker OBE, FBA 


Position held

Emeritus Professor of Sociology with special reference to the study of Religion


Emeritus Professor of Sociology with special reference to the study of Religion


Experience keywords:

Cults; Minority rights; New Religious Movements; Religion; Sects

Research summary > [Click to expand]

Minority religions, including cults, sects and new religious movements and the social reactions to which they give rise. Changes in the religious scene in Easter Europe since 1989.

Countries and regions to which research relates:

China; Eastern Europe; Former Soviet Union; Japan; North America; Western Europe

Media experience:

Has written for mainstream press; Radio; TV

Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7955 7289

LSE email:



Barker, Eileen (2015) New religious movements In: Wright, James D., (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier, Oxford, UK, 805. ISBN 9780080970875


Barker, Eileen (2014) The not-so-new religious movements: changes in ‘the cult scene’ over the past forty years Temenos, 50 (2). 235-256. ISSN 0497-1817


Barker, Eileen, ed (2013) Revisionism and diversification in new religious movements Ashgate Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Farnham, UK. ISBN 9781409462309

Barker, Eileen (2013) Doing sociology: confessions of a professional stranger In: Hjelm, Titus and Zuckerman, Phil, (eds.) Studying Religion and Society: Sociological Self-Portraits. Routledge, London, UK, 39-54. ISBN 9780415667975

Barker, Eileen (2013) The objective study of the subjective or the subjective study of the objective?: notes on the social scientific study of religious experience and the social construction of reality Journal of Chinese Religions (2). 1-35.


Barker, Eileen (2012) Eileen Barker on studying cults Religious Studies Project


Barker, Eileen (2011) Religion in China: some introductory notes for the intrepid Western scholar In: Yang, Fenggang and Lang, Graeme, (eds.) Social Scientific Studies of Religion in China: Methodology, Theories, and Findings. Religion in Chinese Societies. Brill, Boston, USA, 109-132. ISBN 9789004182462

Meyer, Katherine and Barker, Eileen and Ebaugh, Helen Rose and Juergensmeyer, Mark (2011) Religion in global perspective: SSSR presidential panel Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50 (2). 240-251. ISSN 0021-8294

Barker, Eileen (2011) Stepping out of the ivory tower:a sociological engagement in ‘the cult wars’ Methodological Innovations Online, 6 (1). 18-39. ISSN 1748-0612

Barker, Eileen (2011) Ageing in new religions: the varieties of later experiences Diskus, 12. 1-23. ISSN 0967-8948


Barker, Eileen, ed (2010) Centrality of religion in social life: essays in honour of James A. Beckford Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Aldershot, UK. ISBN 978-1-4094-0343-2

Barker, Eileen (2010) The cult as a social problem In: Hjem, Titus, (ed.) Religion and Social Problems. Routledge Advances in Sociology. Routledge, New York, USA, 198-212. ISBN 9780415800563

Barker, Eileen (2010) Misconceptions of the religious ‘other’: the importance for human rights of objective and balanced knowledge International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 1 (1). ISSN 2041-9511


Barker, Eileen (2009) The scientific study of religion? You must be joking! In: Steyn, H.C., (ed.) The Cult Controversy: a Reader. Unisa Press, Cape Town, South Africa.

Barker, Eileen (2009) In god's name: practising unconditional love to the death In: Al-Rasheed, Madawi and Shterin, Marat, (eds.) Dying for Faith: Religiously Motivated Violence in the Contemporary World. Library of Modern Religion. I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, London, UK, 49-58. ISBN 9781845116866

Barker, Eileen (2009) In and out of place: varieties of religious locations in a globalising world In: Hvithamar, Annika and Warburg, Margit and Jacobsen, Brian Arly, (eds.) Holy Nations and Global Identities: Civil Religion, Nationalism, and Globalisation. International Studies in Religion and Society (10). Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 235-251. ISBN 9789004178281

Barker, Eileen (2009) An introduction to 'The devil’s children' In: La Fontaine, Jean, (ed.) The Devil's Children: From Spirit Possession to Witchcraft: New Allegations That Affect Children. Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey, UK, 1-11. ISBN 9780754667339

Barker, Eileen (2009) New and nonconventional religious movements: implications for social harmony Review of Faith and International Affairs, 7 (3). 3-10. ISSN 1557-0274


Barker, Eileen, ed (2008) The centrality of religion in social life: essays in honour of James A. Beckford Ashgate Publishing Limited, Hampshire, UK. ISBN 9780754665151

Barker, Eileen (2008) Preparing the way: conceptual descriptions and understandings of religion and spirituality in contemporary China. In: Beijing Summit on Chinese Spirituality and Society, 9 Oct 2008, Beijing, China


Barker, Eileen (2007) Cult-watching groups and the construction of images of new religious movements In: Bromley, D. G, (ed.) Teaching New Religions Movements. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 309-330. ISBN 9780195177299

Barker, Eileen (2007) Religious movements: cult and anticult since Jonestown In: Hamilton, Malcolm, (ed.) Sociology of Religion. Critical concepts in sociology, 5. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, 157-177. ISBN 9780415381024

Barker, Eileen (2007) Preface In: Kosmin, Barry A. and Keysar, Ariela, (eds.) Secularism and Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives. Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, Hartford, USA, iii-iv. ISBN 9780979481604


Barker, Eileen (2006) We've got to draw the line somewhere: an exploration of boundaries that define locations of religious identity Social Compass, 53 (2). 201-213. ISSN 0037-7686

Barker, Eileen (2006) What should we do about the cults? Policies, information and the perspective of INFORM In: Côté, Pauline and Gunn, Jeremy, (eds.) The New Religious Question: State Regulation or State Interference?. Peter Lang, Bruxelles, Belgium, 371-395. ISBN 9789052010342

Barker, Eileen (2006) Mapping the territory Religion in the News, 8 (3).


Barker, Eileen (2005) Crossing the boundary: new challenges to religious authority and control as a consequence of access to the internet In: Hojsgaard, Morten T. and Warburg, Margit, (eds.) Religion and Cyberspace. Routledge, London, UK, 67-85. ISBN 9780415357630

Barker, Eileen (2005) When heresy is treachery, and dirt is religion out of place. In: Religion in the 21st Century, 29-31 August 2005, Copenhagan, Denmark


Barker, Eileen (2004) The church without and the God within: religiosity and/or spirituality? In: Jerolimov, Dinka Marinović and Zrinščak, Siniša and Borowick, Irena, (eds.) Religion and Patterns of Social Transformation. Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Zagreb, 23-47. ISBN 9789536218165

Barker, Eileen (2004) What are we studying? A sociological case for keeping the "Nova" Nova Religio, 8 (3). ISSN 1092-6690

Barker, Eileen (2004) Why the cults? New religions and freedom of religion and beliefs In: Lindholm, Tore and Durham, W. Cole and Tahzib-Lie, Bahia, (eds.) Facilitating Freedom of Religion and Belief: Perspectives, Impulses and Recommendations From the Oslo Coalition. Kluwer, Dordecht NL.

Barker, Eileen (2004) General overview of the "cult scene" in Great Britain In: Lucas, Philip C. and Robbins, Thomas, (eds.) New Religious Movements in the 21st Century: Legal, Political and Social Challenges in Global Perspective. Routledge, London, 22-28. ISBN 9780415965774


Barker, Eileen (2003) The Scientific Study of Religion? You Must be Joking! In: Dawson, Lorne, L, (ed.) Cults and New Religious Movements: a Reader. Blackwell, Oxford, 7-25.

Barker, Eileen (2003) And the wisdom to know the difference? Freedom, control and the sociology of religion (Association for the Sociology of Religion 2002 presidential address) Sociology of Religion, 64 (3). 285-307. ISSN 1069-4404

Barker, Eileen (2003) Rights and wrongs of new forms of religiosity in Europe: problems of pluralism in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century In: Lehmann, H., (ed.) Multireligiosiät Im Vereinten Europa: Historische und Juristische Aspekte. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, Germany, 215-237.

Barker, Eileen (2003) Harm and new religious movements: some notes on a sociological perspective Cultic Studies Review, 2 (1). ISSN 1539-0152


Barker, Eileen (2002) Rights and wrongs of new forms of religiosity in Europe Temenos, 37-38. 13-38. ISSN 0497-1817

Barker, Eileen (2002) Subud In: Melton, J. Gordon and Bauman, Martin, (eds.) Religions of the World: a Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 1223-1224. ISBN 9781576072233

Barker, Eileen (2002) Brahma Kumari In: Melton, J. Gordon and Bauman, Martin, (eds.) Religions of the World: a Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 159. ISBN 9781576072233

Barker, Eileen (2002) Armenia In: Melton, J. Gordon and Bauman, Martin, (eds.) Religions of the World: a Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 74-77. ISBN 9781576072233

Barker, Eileen (2002) United Kingdom In: Melton, J. Gordon and Bauman, Martin, (eds.) Religions of the World: a Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 1356-1361. ISBN 9781576072233

Barker, Eileen (2002) The protection of minority religions in Eastern Europe In: Danchin, Peter G. and Cole, Elizabeth A., (eds.) Protecting the Human Rights of Religious Minorities in Eastern Europe. Columbia University Press, New York, USA, 58-86. ISBN 9780231124751

Barker, Eileen (2002) Watching for violence: a comparative analysis of five cult-watching groups In: Bromley, D. G. and Melton, J. G., (eds.) Cults, Religion and Violence. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 123-148. ISBN 9780511033339 0511033338

Barker, Eileen (2002) Cult-watching Practices and Consequences in Europe and North America In: Davis, D. and Besier, G., (eds.) International Perspectives of Freedom and Equality of Religious Belief. J. W. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA, 1-24. ISBN 9780929182667


Barker, Eileen (2001) INFORM: bringing the sociology of religion to the public space In: Côté, Pauline, (ed.) Frontier Religions in Public Space. University of Ottawa Press, Ottawa, Canada, 21-34. ISBN 276030535x

Barker, Eileen (2001) A general overview of the "cult scene" in Britain Nova Religio, 4 (2). 235-240. ISSN 1092-6690

Barker, Eileen (2001) Bringing them in: some observations on methods of recruitment employed by new religious movements In: Percy, M., (ed.) Previous Convictions: Conversion in the Present Day. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, UK, 44-57. ISBN 9780281051809

Barker, Eileen (2001) New religious movements In: Smelser, Neil. J and Baltes, Paul. B and Sills, D. L, (eds.) The International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier Science: Pergamon, Amsterdam, 10631-10634. ISBN 9780080430768

Barker, Eileen (2001) A comparative exploration of dress and the presentation of self as implicit religion In: Keenan, William. J. F, (ed.) Dressed to Impress : Looking the Part. Dress, body, culture. Berg Publishing, Oxford, UK, 51-68. ISBN 9780585435930


Barker, Eileen (2000) Beyond mere toleration American Baptist Quarterly, vol 19 (Decemb). 336-343. ISSN 0745-3698

Barker, Eileen (2000) The opium wars of the new millennium: religion in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union In: Silk, Mark, (ed.) Religion on the International News Agenda. Pew Program on Religion and the News Media, Hartford, Conn, 39-59.

Barker, Eileen (2000) Foreword In: Fawcett, Liz and Campling, Jo, (eds.) Religion, Ethnicity and Social Change. Pelgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9780312225674


Barker, Eileen (1999) New religious movements Farmington Papers, Farmington Institute, Oxford.

Barker, Eileen (1999) New religious movements: their incidence and significance In: Wilson, Bryan and Cresswell, Jamie, (eds.) New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response. Routledge, London, UK, 15-32. ISBN 9780415200509

Barker, Eileen (1999) But Who's Going to Win? National and Minority Religions in Post-communist Society Scientific Journal Facta Universitatis, 2 (6). 49-74. ISSN 1820-8509

Barker, Eileen (1999) Taking Two to Tango : The New Religious Movements and Sociology In: Voye, L. and Billiet, J., (eds.) Sociology and Religions: an Ambiguous Relationship. Kadoc-Studies, Vol. 2. Leuven University Press. ISBN 9789061869672


Barker, Eileen (1998) State imposed secularism: yet another dimension? In: Billiet, J. and Laermans, R. and Wilson, B., (eds.) Secularization and Social Integration: Papers in Honor of Karel Dobbelaere. Sociology Today. Leuven University Press, Leuven, Belgium, 191-210. ISBN 9789061869320


Barker, Eileen, ed (1995) LSE on Freedom LSE Books, London, UK. ISBN 0753010453

Barker, Eileen (1995) The scientific study of religion? You must be joking! Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 34 (3). 287-310. ISSN 0021-8294


Barker, Eileen (1993) Of gods and men : new religious movements in the West Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, USA. ISBN 9780865540958

Barker, Eileen (1993) Charismatization: the social production of `an ethos propitious to the mobilization of sentiments' In: Beckford, James T. and Dobbelaere, Karel, (eds.) Secularization, Rationalism and Sectarianism: Essays in Honour of Bryan R. Wilson. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 181-202. ISBN 0198277210


Barker, Eileen (1989) New religious movements: a practical introduction HMSO, London, UK. ISBN 9780113409273


Barker, Eileen (1986) Religious movements: cult and anticult since Jonestown Annual Review of Sociology, 12. 329-346. ISSN 0360-0572


Barker, Eileen (1984) The making of a moonie: choice or brainwashing? Blackwell, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780631132462


Barker, Eileen, ed (1982) New religious movements: a perspective for understanding society Studies in religion and society. Edwin Mellen Press, New York ,USA. ISBN 9780889468641


Barker, Eileen (1979) In the beginning: the battle of creation science against evolutionism In: Wallis, Roy, (ed.) On the Margins of Science: the Social Construction of Rejected Knowledge. Sociological Review Monographs (21). Keele University, Keele, UK, 179-200. ISBN 9780904425062

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