New Religious Movements

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Roy Wallis - 'New Religious Movements'

  • World-rejectine NRMs
  • World-affirming NRMs
  • World-accomdating NRMs
  • (1) World - rejecting NRMs
  • Sects
  • Highly critical of the outside world.
  • Actively seek to change society.
  • They often claim to have the monopoly over truth and believe that their charismatic leader has been chosen by God or some other power to lead the world out of its spiritual wilderness.
  • They are seen as the 'chosen ones'.
  • Members are often expected to cut themselves off from their conventional life when they join the movement.
  • 'Brain washing'.
  • Members are highly disciplined - they devote themselves to their religion rather than to personal pleasure.
  • Threat to a wider society - People's Temple.
  • (2) World-affirming NRMs
  • Lack of typical chacteristics of a religion.
  • Spiritual development of the individual and are not usually interested in the concept of an all powerful God.
  • Cults
  • No physical 'church' in which a group of people meet.
  • No collective ritual of worship.
  • No developed theology or ethics - to provide access to spiritual or supernatural powers or to unlock the spiritual powers supposedly present within the individual.
  • Commercial service in return for financial fee.
  • Not exclusive
  • Accept the world as it is
  • Rapid turnover in membership
  • Bruce - 2…


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