Dropsie College Theses


Alfred Mall

Date of Award

Spring 3-22-1977

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Theodor H. Gaster

Second Advisor

Shimar Khayyat

Third Advisor

Leon Nemoy


The origin of a new religious movement is rooted in the beliefs, principles, and values of the old religions. A new religion is not new per se, but is essentially a reflection of the faith which already exists; it is meant to be the amelioration of that which already is, a refinement of the prevalent system of beliefs. The fabric of a new religion is constructed out of the threads and tissues of the old religion, with new designs and patterns. It is the same relationship as that of the caterpillar to the chrysalis, of the nectar of a flower to the bee's honey. Secular and religious movements differ in that the guidance of the religious leader is attibuted to God, whereas the secular leader's inspiration emanates from past personalities, heroes, and leaders. Both the secular and the religious leaders place themselves in the past with the past heroes, thus forming an inseparable uity of the present with the past.


Library at the Katz Center - Archives Thesis. BP195.A5 M355 1976

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