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New Religious Movements, Western Esotericism, and Integral ConsciousnessThroughout its history, theU.S.has been characterized by religious innovation. What lesson can we learn about this country’s need for integral consciousness from study of the new religions and esoteric movements of the last 60 years?


Constance A. Jones, Ph.D, has pursued a life-long interest in the cultures and religions of the East, including the adoption of Eastern beliefs and practices into Western systems of thought. In recent years Connie has been a member of a multidisciplinary team of scholars that investigates new religious movements around the world. The team has done research on a wide range of new religions. Connie has served on the faculties of a number of graduate programs of religion, including the Graduate Theological Union, the Department of Religious Studies,University ofCalifornia,Santa Barbara, and Columbia Theological Seminary. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. As a Fulbright scholar inIndia, she taught atBanarasHinduUniversity andVasantaCollege and conducted research at theKrishnamurtiStudyCenter,Varanasi. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for the Study of American Religion,Santa Barbara,California; is an active member of CESNUR, Association for the Study of New Religions,Torino,Italy; and is a member of the International Advisory Board for “The Complete Teachings of J. Krishnamurti, 1910-1986.”