Religious groups summary

A summary of cults, sects, churches, denominations, NAMs, NRMs, why people may join etc. Text is enlarged so would be appropriate to use as a revision poster.

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  • Created by: Clare
  • Created on: 06-06-14 15:00
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Organisations, movements and
Types of organisations- Troeltsch- churches, millions of
members, monopoly of the truth, include all societies but are more
attractive to upper class, linked to state. Sects= small, exclusive, hostile
to wider society, expect high levels of commitment. Niebuhr-
denominations between church and sect, less exclusive members, don't
appeal to whole of society, accept societies values, don't claim
monopoly of truth. Cult= small and loose-knit, cults led by therapists who
claim special knowledge, don't demand strong levels of commitment.
Wallis- churches and sects claim their interpretation of faith is the only
legit one, sects and cults are seen as deviant by wider society. However
Bruce- Troeltsch idea of churches having monopoly of truth applies to
catholic church before reformation, since then diversity has occired.
Wallis- World Rejecting NRMs= People's Temple, critical of outside
world, members must break with old lives, members live communally,
conservative moral codes. World Accommodating NRMs breakaways
from churches like Neopentacostalists, focus on religious matters, want
to respite purity of religion, lead conventional lives, believe other
religions have lost the holy spirit. World Affirming NRMs, accept the
world, non exclusive and tolerant of other religions, members carry
about normal lives eg. Scientology. However Stark and Bainbridge we
should use one criteria- the degree of conflict between the group and
the rest of the world eg. Sects and cults are in conflict with wider
society. Sects split from churches due to disagreements about doctrine,
cults are new religions like scientology. Sects promise benefits like
places in heaven yet cults offer worldly benefits like god health.
Audience cults- no organisation, participation through media, little
interaction eg. Astrogeology. Client cults- services ti followers, eg.
Miracles in spiritualism. Cultic movements= high commitment, exclusive
membership eg. Moonies.
Growth of religious movements-since 60's, growth
in sects and cults and membership eg. Over 800 NRMs worldwide and
500,000members. Marginality- Troeltsch said members came from poor
and oppressed, Weber- sects offer a theodicy of disprivilege and explain
and justify their suffering. Relative deprivation- Wallis- they may turn to
sects for a sense of community. Stark and Bainbridge- relatively
deprived MC members break away and form sects to safeguard the

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Social Change- Wilson people join
when they feel anomie due to uncertainty or disruption in their life.
Bruce- people join today due to modernisation and secularisation as
people don't want to sacrifice much. Wallis- world rejecting NRMs have
grown due to social changes like increased education time and growth of
radical political movement which offered young people a more idealistic
way of life.…read more

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Women are likely to find
their ascribed gender roles as restrictive and NAMs emphasise the
importance of being authentic. Stark and Bainbridge- organic
deprivation (women are more likely so suffer ill health and seek healing
through religion), ethical deprivation (women more likely to be morally
conservative and find the world in moral decline and sects share the
same view) social deprivation (women more likely to be poor and sects
attract poorer groups).…read more


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