New Religions Studies (NRS) is emerging as a new, interdisciplinary area of study in religion. The establishment of a new area of study involves the amassing of a distinctive corpus of knowledge and the construction of organizational auspices for knowledge creation, transmission, and preservation. In this article I identify some components and strategies of successful areas of study and use those as benchmarks for assessing the developmental progress of NRS. Two key organizational units in the development of NRS are universities and professional associations. With respect to knowledge construction, three pivotal components are definitions of the phenomena to be studied, theoretical perspectives in terms of which empirical work is framed, and methodological procedures through which research is conducted. Problems with and prospects for each of these dimensions are explored, with special attention to the issue of definitions.

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