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Marion Goldman

Marion Goldman profile picture
  • Affiliation: emeritus
  • Title: Professor Emeritus
  • Additional Title: Sociology
  • Phone: 541-346-5002
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Religious Studies
  • Curriculum Vitae


My research focuses on personal change, social transformation and new religious movements (cults). I explore sociological questions through documentary and historical research, field methods, and in-depth interviewing.

Along the way, I fell into a secret room where poisons were brewed in the communal city of Rajneeshpuram. I have also attended psychodrama workshops, interviewed former Jesus People,  and very briefly tended bar in an Ely, Nevada Brothel. I am learning more about spirituality in settings as varied as the Immaculate Heart Community, the Sunday Gathering—an Atheist Church in London, and the Summer Solstice Celebrations at Seurassari, Finland.

My most recent book is The Spiritual Virtuoso

Although it’s on the “back burner” I am also doing more research about the complicated dynamics of food and faith. My first publication on that subject is a chapter, “ Food, Faith and fraud in two New Religious Movements” in Amanda Van Eck’s Minority Religions and Fraud:

If you want to know more about the Rajneeshees in central Oregon, Here is an OPB interview that I did.

And here is a short article about part of my 2018 book on spirituality and social change:

Although I am now an emeritus professor I am still engaged with and inspired by Sociology at the University of Oregon.


Research Interests

  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Religious Violence
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Gender

Teaching Areas

  • Sociology of Religion
  • Cults and Social Movements
  • Qualitative Methods


The American Soul Rush (2012) 

Image result for american soul rush

The Spiritual Virtuoso: Personal Faith and Social Transformation (2017)