Since the 1960s, there has been a rapid growth in the number of NRMs: estimated over 800 NRMs with over 500,000 members in the UK. Sociologists recognise that NRMs can emerge at any time, however they have identified three factors which are relevant to the emergence of them.
Troeltsch noted that sects tend to draw their members from the poor and oppressed.
Weber argues that sects tend to arise in groups who are marginal to society.
- Sects offer their members a theodicy of disprivilege: a religious explanation and justification for their suffering.
- Misfortune: a test of faith
i.e. while holding out the promise of rewards in the future for keeping the faith.
Historically, many sects have recruited marginalized people i.e. 20th C: Nation of Islam (the Black Muslims) recruited many disadvantaged blacks in the USA.
However since the 1960s: some NRMs have recruited mainly from affluent groups of often well-educated, young, middle-class whites.
i.e. the Moonies
- Wallis argues that this does…