The Dynamics of Sects & NRMs Notes

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  • Created on: 24-05-16 21:17

The Dynamics of Sects & NRMs


Niebuhr - denomination or death:

·       Sects are world-rejecting organisations that have been created due to schism – splitting from an established church due to a disagreement.

·       Sects are short-lived – so that in a generation they either die out, or they compromise with the world or they abandon their extreme ideas and become a denomination – because:

Ø  The second generation – who are born into the sect, lack the commitment of their parents who consciously rejected the world and voluntarily joined.

Ø  The ‘Protestant ethic’ effect – sects that praise asceticism tend to become prosperous. Members will be tempted to compromise with the world, so they will either leave it or abandon its beliefs.

Ø  Death of the leader – either collapse, or a more formal bureaucratic leadership takes over, transforming it into a denomination.

Stark & Bainbridge - the sectarian cycle:



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