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Despite their diversity, and despite cultural variations between Japan and the West, new religions in both contexts are examined generically. The question asked is: in what sense does newness as such imply specific characteristics? Several answers are suggested and discussed: the offer o f more proximate salvation; the attack on spiritual elitism; open availabili ty; the accessibility o f do-it-yourself techniques; opportunities fo r social mobility through religion; and the promise o f newdoi:10.18874/jjrs.6.1-2.1979.193-216 fatcat:imwuxc43w5gu7jpqiywgbep3fi