Niebuhr: Suggested that religious organizations evolved from and around sects.
From cult to sect:
- Cults are often interpreted as precarious movements because they require little or no commitment by their followers.
- Wallis: In an effort to counteract their precariousness, some cults become more sect-like. They get distinctive teachings and a doctrine, a hierarchy emerges and authority is more likely to become centralised in a leader. Followers become subjects to controls and greater commitment is required.
- Stark and Bainbridge: cult founders often encourage a sect-type 'turning inwards' because they lose hope.
From church to sect:
- Some sects begin with dissatisfied individuals within a church who feel betrayed by its corruption, worldliness or spiritual disintegration.
- These sects emerge from division or schism as members are expelled or break away.
From sect to denomination:
- Niebuhr: Claims that it is impossible for a sect to survive as a sect beyond a single generation because new members would not be able to sustain the fervour of the first generation- the nature…