Thanks so much for this important question to us here at TruthBook. You asked: "Is The Urantia Book a new religion? Is it a cult?"The Urantia Book itself is neither a religion nor a cult; the book contains religion, history, science, and philosophy, and includes the life and teachings of Jesus. It defines religion as the sublime and personal relationship between the individual and the Creator. The Urantia Book simply states,
The book asserts that one of the highest religious concepts that a person can grasp is the simple
"In its true essence, religion is a faith-trust in the goodness of God." (2:6.1)
No organized religion based on the teachings of The Urantia Book exists at this time, and many who believe in the book feel it is neither necessary nor desirable to create one.
"...fact of the fatherhood of God, coupled with the resultant truth of the sonship-brotherhood of men." (194:0.4)
Each of the world's major religions once began as cult. A "cult" is characterized by a group of people who adhere to a standardized and ecclesiastically sanctioned belief system, leaving no room for personal beliefs or for interpretation. Often, such a belief system embraces some regiment of uncontestable theology, some indispensable method to garner one's salvation into heaven. Usually, there is a charismatic leader who is recognized as the final authority on nearly all matters of living, sometimes even to the mundane.
None of the above characteristics applies to readers of The Urantia Book. The Urantia Book has no official interpretation, and it actually encourages the free exploration of its concepts, allowing readers to discover for themselves the meaning and value of its teachings. In addition, The Urantia Book encourages each reader to discern how "religion" is manifested in their life according to their own understanding of that word.
Here's a link to a similar question that we've answered in the past, too.
Thanks again for this question; it's a good one. I hope this reply and the accompanying links below to The Urantia Book helps you to formulate a new and workable meaning of religion in your own life.Here are links to "the religion papers" for a comprehensive idea of how The Urantia Book treats this most interesting and vital subject:
The Social Problems of Religion
Religion in Human Experience
The Real Nature of Religion
The Foundations of Religious Faith
The Reality of Religious Experience