Characteristics of religious organisations

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  • Created on: 28-05-14 13:23

Church

Sociologist identifying these factors: Troeltsch ('31)

Example: Roman Catholic Church

Social background of members: Members are drawn from all classes but particularly upper-class

Relatinship to state: Closely connected to state

Relationship to society: Churches accept and affirm life in this world

Demands of members: Members don't have to demonstrate their faith to belong

Tolerance: Often jealously guard their monopoly of religious truth

Type of organisation: Formal organisation with a hierarchy of paid officials

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Denomination

Sociologist identofying these factors: Niebuhr ('29)

Example: Methodists

Social background of members: No universal appeal, not connected with upper-class

Relationship to state: Doesn't identify with the state, approves separation between church & state

Relationship to society: Members generally accept norms and valus of society

Demands on members: Minor restrictions (discrouaged from drinking & gambling)

Tolerance: Doesn't claim monopoly of truth and is tolerant to other religions

Type of organisaton: Smaller than a chruch but still formal hierachy of paid officials

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Sect

Sociologist identifying these factors: Troeltsch ('31)

Example: Jehovah's Witnesses

Social background of members: Connected with lower class

Relationship to state: Often opposes state

Relationship to society: Members oftern reject the values of the world

Demands on members: Deep commitments made, expected to withdraw from life outside the sect

Tolerance: Believes they have monopoly over the truth

Type of organisation: Authority rests with charismatic leader who persuades other to follow

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