Religious Organisations

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 09-06-14 16:16
What is religious belief?
Thinking that the world is controlled by supernatural forces, e.g. God, or Gods
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What is religious commitment?
Carrying out religious worship e.g. Praying, singing etc
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What is religious membership?
Being part of a formal religious group, e.g. Church, sect, cult etc
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What is religiosity?
How religious a person is, how strong their beliefs, commitment and membership is.
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What is a church?
A well established and large religious organisation
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Troelstch 6 features of churches?
1. Claims monopoly of truth. 2. Rigid hierarchy and bureaucratic structure with rules and regulations. 3. Close relationship to the state. 4. Integrated into society. 5. Churches are a conservative force. 6. Attract upper class members.
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How can you critique Troelstsch work?
Troelstch points don't always apply to todays churches because there is religious pluralism. e.g Church of England doesn't always claim monopoly of truth nor is it conservative + herbergs idea that traditional churches are watering down their beliefs
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What is a sect?
A small radical religious movement.
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What did Troelstch say about sects?
Defined sects as being opposite to church/Nor many religious groups can be classified as sects/People who are dissatisfied with mainstream religion usually join sects/Formed through people breaking away from church - disagree with theories etc.
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What are 9 features of sects?
Claim monopoly of truth, no complex hierarchy, charismatic leader, small, require total commitment, often short lived, reject mainstream society and its norms and values, seperate from state, alternative life for those who feel deprived/marginalised
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What are denominations?
Denominations tend to be subsets of churches
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What are the features of denominations?
Don't claim monopoly of truth, see selves as ''route to truth.'' tolerant of other religions, hierarchy and bureaucratic structure (not like churches) large membership, aren't closely connected to the state
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What are cults?
Cults of mystic movements, and are often wrongly defined in the media.
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How did Bruce describe cults?
Without a fixed set of beliefs.
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What are the 4 features of cults?
Without a fixed set of beliefs, emphasis on inner self, self spirituality, and individualism, loose knit, and don't require much commitment from members
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What is religious fundamentalism?
Religious fundamentalism is the literal interpretation of religious texts, groups strictly and passionately follow their beliefs and seek radical change in order to create a more conservative society reinstating traditional values.
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Islamic fundamentalism in Iran?
Iran was traditional but became modernised under the Shah, women wore western clothes, alcohol could be drank and education was secular. Traditional muslims were unhappy and sought radical change and labelled Shah as corrupt. Khomeini led revolt.
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Christian fundamentalism?
New Christian Right movement in America argues society is in decline and is in a state of moral crisis. They believe this is down to liberal reform (e.g. Easy divorce, legalised abortion, gay rights, secular education etc.) Wrong to teach evolution.
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How many and what are the types of New Religious Movements? (NRM's)
Wallis identified 3 types of NRM's. World rejecting, world accommodating and world affirming.
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What are world rejecting nrms?
World rejecting nrms are similar to sects, in they cut themselves off from society.
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What are the features of world rejecting nrms?
Critical of wider society, conflict with the state, require total commitment, demand radical lifestyle changes, often accused of brainwashing members, hard to leave. (e.g. The Moonies)
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What are world affirming nrms?
These are tolerant to other beliefs and are similar to cults.
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What are the features of world affirming nrms?
Similar to self help/therapy groups, try to unlock spiritual power, seek wide membership, dont require high levels of commitments from members.
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What are world accommodating nrms?
World accommodating nrms are traditionally religious and are similar to denominations.
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What are the features of world accommodating nrms?
Often come from aspects of traditional religion, try to rediscover spiritual purity which is lost in traditional religion, these movements don't demand anything from members and allow them to continue their existing lifestyle. (e.g. Pentecostalism)
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Why has there been a growth of nrms?
Interpretivists suggest that nrms provide certainty in times on uncertainty, and when there is high levels of uncertainty in society nrms have greater appeal and grow.
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What are uncertainties in society?
Marginality, Relative deprivation, Social Change, and Modernity and Post-Modernity.
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How does marginality cause uncertainty?
Inequality, immigration and racism may marginalise groups. Nrm's help people make sense of their situation and promise a better life and promote afterlife as compensation for suffering. WEBBER - theodicy of disprivellage.
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How does relative deprivation cause uncertainty?
Marginality is unable to explain why white middle class groups join nrms. They are not financially deprived but see themselves as deprived spiritually, especially compared to their peers hence why they join nrms.
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How does social change cause uncertainty?
Changes in society can bring about anomie and uncertainty. The breakdown of community highlights secularisation, cultural diversity, and terrorist attacks may also generate uncertainty.
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How does modernity and post modernity cause uncertainty?
Alienation of capitalism and disillusionment with work may create uncertainty, constructing own identity may result in crisis of identity.
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Who criticised the idea that uncertainties in society were the cause of nrms?
Merton criticised the idea and pointed out that nrms didnt emerge in periods of uncertainty as rapid growth occurred in 1950s when society was stable.
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Who talked about the appeal of nrms?
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Why did world rejecting nrms grow?
World rejecting nrms grew particularly in the 1960's. There was freedom but also uncertainty. It was a period of radicalism and alternative world views (sixties counter-culture) People were confused and needed concrete beliefs.
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Why did world affirming nrms grow?
These developed to help people cope with crisis of identity (mainly the middle class) They tried to unlock human potential and help solve people problems.
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Why did Bruce think world affirming nrms grew?
The growth of world affirming nrms grew as a response to rationalisation where it was hard to find satisfaction through work, and traditional religions had been undermined by science and rational thinking.
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Why did world accommodating nrms grow?
They grew as they appealed to people who were dissatisfied with existing religion.
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What are New Age Movements? (nams)
Close to cults, and world affirming movements. Nams arent really an organisation theyre more of a culture e.g. Tarot cards, crystal healing, yoga etc.
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How did Heelas describe nams?
''Dedicated to self-spirituality.''
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What 3 aspects did Bruce say were common to nams?
New Science (rejects claims of traditional science), New Ecology (Concern for the environment), New Psychology (Sees the self as sacred)
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Who did nams appeal to?
Appealed to those examining their identity.
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How did nams appeal to those examining their identity?
Appeal to those who moved away from traditional religion, help deal with uncertainties of modernity, appeal to middle classes and women, nams reflect cultural changes in society.
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Why did nams appeal to those who moved away from traditional religion?
People are able to find peace and salvation within themselves, don't need to go to places of worship. Modern society is more individualistic therefore its more appealing.
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Why did nams help people deal with uncertainties of modernity?
People have lots of different roles in society and nams helps people to find a sense of identity.
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How are nams as a result of postmodernity?
In postmodern society people have choice and diversity which allows them to pick and mix beliefs which help create identity.
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What is spiritual shopping?
Spiritual shopping is the idea that people try out different religions and find the one which best suits them therefore reflecting individualistic and consumerist attitude of postmodern society.
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Card 2


What is religious commitment?


Carrying out religious worship e.g. Praying, singing etc

Card 3


What is religious membership?


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Card 4


What is religiosity?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is a church?


Preview of the front of card 5
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