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6. Organisations,
movements and
members.…read more

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Types of religious organisation
Churches Sects
· Large · Small
· Millions of members · Exclusive groups
· Place few demands on members · Demand commitment from members
· Bureaucratic hierarchy · Hostile to wider society
· Monopoly of truth · Recruit mainly from poor and oppressed
· Universalistic · Charismatic leadership
· Ideologically conservative · Monopoly of religious truth
· Linked to the state…read more

Slide 3

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Denominations Cults
· Midway between churches and sects · Least organised
· Exclusive membership · Highly individualistic
· Accept society's values · Small
· Not linked to the state · Loose-knit groups
· Impose minor restrictions · No defined belief system
· Tolerant of other religions · Tolerant of other organisations
· Not as demanding as sects · Do not demand strong commitment
· Many are world affirming…read more

Slide 4

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New religious Movements
(Categorised by Wallis)
World rejecting World accommodating World affirming
e.g. Moonies e.g. neo-Pentecostalists e.g. scientology
·Clear notion of god ·Often breakaways from ·Lack conventional features
·Highly critical of outside existing churches of religion
world ·Neither accept nor reject ·Offer followers access to
·Expect radical change the world spiritual powers
·Members break with their ·Focus on religious matters ·Accept the world as it is
former life ·Members tend to lead ·Promises followers success
·Live communally conservative lives in their goals
·Restricted contact with ·Followers often customers
outside world rather than members
·Controls all aspects of
members lives…read more

Slide 5

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Sects and Cults
Distinguished by Stark and
Sects Cults
· Result from schisms- splits in existing · Religions new to society
organisations · Offer `this worldly' benefits to those
· Promising `other worldly' benefits tot suffering organismic deprivation and
hose suffering economic deprivation psychic deprivation
Audience Cults Client Cults Cultic Movements
· Least organised · Consultant/client · Organised, exclusivist
· No formal membership relationship · High levels of
· Little interaction between · `therapies' promising commitment
members personal fulfilment · Claim to meet all
members needs…read more

Slide 6

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Growth of religious movements
Marginality (Weber) Relative Deprivation Social change and NRMs
Sects offer a solution to Someone who is quite Periods of rapid change
those who lack status by privileged may feel deprived undermine norms, producing
offering members a theodicy compared with others, or anomie (normlessness)
of disprivilege. (religious spiritually deprived World Rejecting NRMs:
explanation for their People may turn to sects for 1960s enabled freedom and
disadvantage) a sense of community an idealistic counter culture,
Many sects have recruited Stark and Bainbridge argue while growth of radical
from the marginalised poor that it is the relatively political movements gave
Example: Christian belief deprived who break away alternative ideas about the
that "the meek shall inherit from churches future.
the earth" to show the Example: the Moonies have World Affirming NRMs:
appeal of religion to recruited mainly from middle response to the
dispriviliged groups class whites. rationalisation of work
(modernity) providing sense
of identity and promising
worldly success.…read more

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Bethany Jade Noall


This is a fantastic revision tool - I'm currently planning for an essay on this unit, and this really helped me. Thank you :)

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