AQA A2 Sociology- Religious Organisations

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  • Created on: 01-06-16 17:39
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  • Religious Organisations
    • Church
      • Troeltsch: a large organisation that stabilises and determines political order.
      • Characteristics: Hierarchy, ascribed membership (born into it), relationship with state, monopoly on the truth and at times it compromises on values to fit in society.
      • Life span
        • Bruce: 1500s church was weakened by the reformation which led to religious pluralism.
        • The church today is weak in modern society shown by the decrease in attendance and people are dismissive of it's authority.
        • Evaluation: in UK the black Pentecostal church has thousands attending and are the centre of their community. Some people who may not be religious use the church for other functions (weddings)
    • Demonination
      • An organisation that shares some but not all features of a church.
      • Niebuhr: Characteristics: appeal to W/C, separate from the state, don't have monopoly on the truth, they don't change their values.
      • Life span
        • Very durable- they are seen mainstream and well established.
    • Sects and Cults
      • Sects characteristics: opposed to church, small and has little influence over state, reject society and demands members to withdraw from it, voluntary membership and led by a male charismatic leader.
      • Cult characteristics: loose-knit but have a definite ideology, individualistic but tolerant of other religions and have customers not followers.
      • Life span
        • Niebuhr says sects are world rejecting so are short lived. And suggests they transform into a denomination to survive
    • World rejecting, accommodating and affirming organisations.
      • World rejecting NRM:
        • Clear concept of God, criticse and want to change the outside world, members must withdraw from society, leaders are charismatic and don't live long as they come into conflict with society.
      • World accommodating NRM:
        • Off shoots of church/domination, choose to live with society, concerned with restoring the religious purity they've lost, members lead conventional lives and they live longer than sects as they don't criticise society and members can lead normal lives.
      • World Affirming NRM:
        • No definite place of worship, no ideology, accept the world and don't criticise it, not exclusive seek a wide membership, members lead normal lives and have a excellent chance of survival as they are harmless to society
      • Appeal
        • Weber: appeal to marginalised people.
        • Willis: NRM appeal to rich M/C it gives them a sense of spiritual fulfillment. Stark and Bainbridge- A sect offers a way to break away from a traditional organisation
    • New Age Movements
      • Bruce: they emerged in the 80/90s as softer versions of traditional religions.
      • Heelas: NAM product of modernity:
        • Source of identity, Consumer culture, provides clear values and brings security = little change, and secularisation had paved the way for alternatives.
      • Appeal: Bruce- they appeal to M/C who seek a more meaningful and less materialist existence.


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