The First Day of the Scientific Meeting with Massimo Introvigne

In October 2016, a scientific meeting was held in Odessa, Ukraine, initiated by Oleg V. Maltsev, the scientific director of the Institute of Information Security. The main objective of the meeting was to enhance the skills of Ukrainian scientists, lawyers, and journalists. One of the distinguished speakers was Massimo Introvigne, an Italian professor of sociology of religions. Introvigne has spoken before parliamentary committees in Italy, Hungary, Germany, the European Parliament, and the US Congress.

The first day of the scientific meeting was dedicated to the fears and misconceptions of the sports society. Introvigne addressed key moments, beginning with the confusion in the terminology of concepts such as cult and sect, which represent extremists with the goal of manipulating and intimidating modern society. The Italian professor stressed the need to be attentive to avoid confusion in terminology. He traced the origin of the terms “cult” and “sect” to the founders of the science of sociology of religions in the late 19th century.

Introvigne also highlighted the starting point of anti-cult movements as American parents. He discussed three groups of people who try to sell their services to parents and the anti-cult organizations, which he described as businesses that are ready to call any structure a cult or sect for which they are paid.

Introvigne is the main author of the Enciclopedia delle religioni in Italia (“Encyclopedia of Religions in Italy”) and a member of the editorial board of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. He works as a consultant on religious freedom for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU).



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