new religions WebQuest
An Internet WebQuest on new religions

created by Jay Gallagher
Broadneck High School

Introduction | The Task | The Process & Resources | Conclusion | HyperText Dictionary


There are many new religious movments in society today. Some survive, some thrive, and some falter and fail. Today we will explore five of these movments, their beliefs, practices, founding, strenghts, weaknesses, and controversies.

The Quest

What is needed to help a new religious movement to succede? What makes them suspect or looked down upon?

The Process and Resources

In this webquest you will be working in five groups based on the five categories, Jehovah's witnesses (labled Bacground since there were not enoguh categories), christian science, rastafarianism, universalism, and cults. You are to complete the following tasks within approximately the first 45 minutes of class in preperation for a short presentation to the class of your information.

1) You are to use the three web sites provided and at least two additional sites. The purpose of this is to obtain the needed information, but to also view various perspectives and interpretations.

2) Create a chart (individually) outlining the following informatiton a) when/where the religion began b) founders/current leaders c) why it began d) basic beliefs e)(for the larger grouped religions such as cults) why they are categorized like this f) current state of the religion g) strengths f)weaknesses g) controversies h) has it survived, thrived or faltered, why? i) other pertinent information

3) once you have gathered all of the necessary information, get together with your assigned group and prepare a breif, 3-5 minute, presentation to the class about what you have just learned.

Phase 1 - Background: Something for Everyone

This is really the section for Jehovah's witnesses.

Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different Perspectives

see directions above.

Christian science


Universalist religions


Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

Prepare your groups presentation.

Phase 4 - Real World Feedback

As your weekly journal assignment, please anwser the following question.

Why would someone begin a new religion or a new sect? What determines if a new religion succedes or fails? Why are many new religious movements looked down upon or scorned? Be as specific as possible and try to use examples from the class presentations to support yourself.

Your Contact is: the designated contact


Remember back to the class activity we did a while ago when you designed your own religions. While that task had aspects which were easy, challanging, frustrating, and fun, so do creating a new religious movement. The challanges, however, of starting a real, valid, accepted, and successful new religion are much greater. Today you will have examined one new age religious movement in depth and heard presnetations on four others. This is by no means a complete list of new religions. As you complete your journal for this week, or for future personal information and growth, feel free to acesses this and other sites to learn more. Especially valuable sites that I have found include the following, and there are certaintly many other as well.

 created by Filamentality Content by Jay Gallagher,
Last revised Mon Jan 19 18:50:54 US/Pacific 2004