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Page 1

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Organisations, movements and members
Some people believe w/o belonging, many others express their faith through membership of
a religious organisation such as a church.

Types of religious organisation

Troeltsch: distinguished between two main types ­ the church and the sect

Church: Sects:
Large organisations w/millions of Small, exclusive groups

Page 2

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Roy Wallis categorises new religious movements into three groups based on their
relationship to the outside world. Whether they reject, accommodate or affirm it.

World Rejecting NRMs: World-accommodating World-affirming NRMs:

Eg. The moonies Often breakaways They accept the
Clear notion of God from existing mainstream world as it is…

Page 3

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Make useful distinctions between organisations
× Their idea of using the degree of conflict wider society to distinguish between them
is similar to Troelstch distinction between church and sect.
× Some examples they use do not fit neatly into any one of their categories.

Explaining The Growth of Religious…

Page 4

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Bruce sees the growth of sects and cults today as a response to the social changes
involved in modernisation and secularisation.
Bruce ­ Society is secularised and therefore people are less attracted to traditional
churches & strict sects becos they demand too much commitment. Instead people
prefer cults becos they're…

Page 5

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Wilson argues some sects have survived many generations such as Adventists and
Mormons. Instead of becoming denominations, these groups become established
He also argues, that globalisation will make it harder in the future for sects to keep
themselves separate from the outside world.

The Growth of the New Age…

Page 6

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Likewise, Heelas sees the New Age and modernity linked in 4 ways

1. A Source of Identity: In modern society people have many different roles (eg. At
work/home) New Age beliefs offer a source of `authentic' identity.
2. Consumer Culture: New Age offers and alternative way to achieve perfection

Page 7

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Compensation for Glock and Stark + Stark and Bainbridge:
Argue that people may participate in religion because
of the compensators for social, organismic and ethical
deprivation that it offers.
1. Organismic Dep: Stems from physical and mental
health, women are more likely to suffer from illness
and seek healing…

Page 8

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However, once a group has made its transition. Religion may lose its role and decline
in importance

Age and Religious Participation

General pattern of religious participation is that the older a person is, the more likely
they are to attend religious services
The under 15s are more likely to go…


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