Sociology - Religion & Beliefs

What are New Religion Movements (NRMs) ?

A new religous movement is a term used by Wallis to identify religious, ethical, and spiritual groups, communities and practices that have been recently formed.

There are 3 main types of NRMs. These are:

  • World Rejecting NRMs
  • World Accomodating NRMs
  • World Affirming NRMs
1 of 5

What are World Rejecting NRMs?

Religeous organisation that has a clear notion of God

Highly critical of the outside world 

 - They seek and want radical change

To achieve salvation (protection) they must forget thier former life 

Members live together with strict contact with the outside world

Example: ISIS

2 of 5

What are World Accommodating NRM's?

They are a religeous movement that neither accepts or rejects the world

They focus on religion rather than worldly matters 

Seek to restore spiritual purity of religion

Members live conventional lives 

Example:Neo-Pentocostalism wants to revive the worship of the holy spirit

3 of 5

What are World Affirming NRMs?

They are a religious movement that accept the world for what it is

Non exclusive and tolerant of other religions

Offer additional specialist knowledge and techniques that:

  • Allows followers to unlock their own spiritual powers 
  • Helps to achieve success
  • Overcome problems such as unhappiness or illness

Most are cults 

Entry is through training 

Wallis found these were the most successful NRMs 

Example:Transcendental meditation

4 of 5

AO3's of Wallis and NRM's

+ Useful way of classifying NRMs

- Not clear how he catergorised them

  • movement of teaching
  • individual members beliefs

- Ignores diversity of belief 

- Real NRMs will rarely fit his typology

Typology is useful for comparing and analysing significant features

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Religion and beliefs resources »