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Beth Singler

Beth Singler

New Religious Movements

Internet based communities

Popular Culture


Exploring 21st Century New Religious Movements, Beth’s research is situated at the intersection of web 2.0 and religious studies. Using digital and real world ethnographical methods, her PhD focuses on the Indigo Children - a New Age re-conception of both children and adults using the language of evolution and spirituality. Are the Indigo Children special, psychic and here to change the world?  Or is the label just a way of re-imagining difficult children and difficult childhoods?  Beth’s research considers these issues as well as wider moral panics around children, parenting, the diagnosis of conditions such as ADHD and autism and conspiracy theories about Big Pharma and vaccinations.

Other areas of research include Jediism, Scientology, Paganism and online religious subcultures.

Subject area and speciality

Religious Studies specialists:
  • New Religious Movements
  • Internet based communities
  • Popular Culture
  • PhD topic - The Indigo Children: New Age Experimentation with Self and Science.


Beth supervises A6: Understanding Contemporary Religion and C7: Topics in the Study of Religion

Other Professional Activities

Member of BASR (British Association for the Study of Religion) and BSA (British Sociological Assocation)

Key Publications

“Big, Bad Pharma: New Age Biomedical Conspiracy Narratives and their Expression in the Concept of the Indigo Child”, for a conspiracy theory special issue of Nova Religio, forthcoming, November 2015.

“'SEE MOM IT IS REAL': The UK Census, Jediism and Social Media”, in Journal of Religion in Europe, Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2014

“Internet-based New Religious Movements and Dispute Resolution” in Sandberg, R. (ed.) Religion and Legal Pluralism, July 2015

“New Age Movement, Possession and Exorcism in” in Laycock, J. (ed.) Spirit Possession Around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures. Forthcoming from ABC-CLIO.

“My Brother, the Insect”:  Researching the Indigo Children and Their New Age Cosmologies and Spiritual Guides”, forthcoming in DISKUS, Journal of the BASR.

“No Leader, No Followers: The Internet and the End of Charisma?” in Inform’s 25th Anniversary Conference Volume, forthcoming from Ashgate.

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Festival of Ideas - Debating Philosophy of Religion

Oct 19, 2016

Workshop for students in Years 11,12, and 13: Saturday 22 November, 11am-1pm.

Vacancy: Fixed Term Research Associate in Theology and Science

Oct 12, 2016

The Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge wishes to appoint a Research Associate to this project on Theology and Science.

Festival of Ideas - The New Cambridge Mosque Panel Discussion

Oct 07, 2016

As part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Cambridge Inter-faith Programme is a hosting a panel discussion event on Saturday 22nd October.

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