Explaining The Growth Of Religious Movements
· Troeltsch– sects tend to draw their members from the poor and oppressed.
Ø Sects arise in groups who are marginal to society.
Ø They may feel that they are disprivileged– not receiving their just economic rewards or social status.
Ø Sects offer a solution – theodicy of disprivilege – a religious explanation and justification for their suffering and disadvantage.
Ø It explains their misfortune as a test of faith.
· Many sects and millenarian movements have recruited from the marginalised poor.
Ø E.g. 20th century – the Nation of Islam recruited successfully among disadvantaged blacks in the USA.
· However, since the 1960’s Moonies have recruited mainly from more affluent groups.
Ø Wallis argues this does not contradict Weber’s view, because many of these individuals had become marginal to society.
· It is possible for someone who is in reality quite privileged, to feel that they are being deprived or disadvantaged.
· Middle-class people are materially well off, they may feel spiritually deprived.
· Especially in today’s materialistic, consumerist world, which many perceive as impersonal and lacking in moral value, emotional warmth and authenticity.
· Wallis– due to this, the middle-class may turn to sects…