Religious Organisations

Religious Organisation structure

A2 Religion


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  • Created by: firdaus
  • Created on: 13-01-12 11:18
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Feature Churches Denominations Sects Cults
Scope National or international National or international Local or national Local
Large membership Large membership Start small but can become extremely large National or international
Inclusive Inclusive Inclusive, vary in size
Internal organisation Hierarchical, bureaucratic (run by official Formal Bureaucratic (run by official Voluntary Voluntary
representatives) representatives) Tight knit Loose structure
Nature of leadership Professional clergy with paid officials Professional clergy No professional clergy or bureaucratic structure Individualistic
Less bureaucratic than Usually led by a Maybe based on a common interest or of
churches charismatic leader. a service.
Use lay preachers Inspirational leader
Life span Over centuries Often more than 100 years Sometimes more than a generation Often short lived and die within the
May evolve into a denomination. leadership
Attitude towards wider society Recognises the state and accepts its norms Generally accepted but not part of formal Critical of mainstream society Maybe critical or accepting of society but
and values structure Usually comes up with own norms and values. have a unique approach that offers more.
Seen as a basis of non-conformist views.
(refused to be bound by accepted beliefs)
Claims to the truth Monopoly view of truth (only their viewpoint No monopoly on truth Monopoly view of truth No monopoly view of truth
is correct) Less ritualistic but there is a clear emphasis Aim to re-establish fundamental truths. Borrow from a range of sources
Strong use of rituals on emotional passion
String emotional response
Type of membership Little formal commitment required Stronger commitment and rules such as Exceptional commitment Flexible
Usually by birth non-gambling

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Examples Anglicanism Baptists Mormons Scientology
Roman Catholic Methodists Jehovah's witnesses New age ideas
Islam Pentecostlists Moonies Spiritualism
Hinduism Branch Davidians…read more

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