Topic 6

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Who distinguishes between church's and sect's?
Troeltsch
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What does he state the key features of a church are?
Large organisations, millions of members, bureaucratic hierarchy,claim monopoly, universalistic
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What does he state the key features of a sect are?
small, exclusive, hostile to society, high commitment, poor and oppressed, charismatic leader, believe monopoly.
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Who distinguishes between denominations and cults?
Niebuhr
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What does he say the features of a denomination are?
Less exclusive membership, don't appeal to whole of society, accept values, minor restrictions,tolerate other religious views, no monopoly.
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What does he say the features of a cult are?
Individualistic, led by 'therapists' who claim special knowledge, tolerate other beliefs, not strong commitment.
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What does Wallis say about the four organisations?
Churches and sects claim interpretation of faith is only legitimate one. Denominations and cults accepting other interpretations. Churches and denominations are seen as respectable and legitimate, sects and cults are deviant.
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What does Bruce say about Troeltsch's ideas of church's?
Church used to have monopoly, protestant reformation meant that it no longer did due to diversity, suggesting Troeltsch's ideas are wrong.
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Who puts NRM into categories?
Wallis
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Describe world-rejects NRMs?
Clearly religious, critical of world, sharp break from former life, live communally, conservative moral codes. E.G. Moonies, Manson family.
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Describe world-accommodating NRMs?
Neither accept nor reject world, focus on religious matters. E.G. Neopentacostalists, Subud
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Describe world-affirming NRMs?
Accept world, optimistic, tolerate others, few demands. E.G. Scientology
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Criticisms of Wallis?
Ignores diversity between NRMs, Do not all fit categories (3HO), S+B- Reject typologies should use conflict to define.
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What organisations to Stark and Bainbridge look at?
Sects and Cults
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What do they say about sects?
They are a result of schisms, offering other-worldly benefits (heaven) to those suffering economic or ethical deprivation.
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What do they say about Cults?
New religions, (scientology) offering worldly benefits (health) to those suffering psychic deprivation (normlessness) and organismic (health).
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What are the names of the cults Stark and Bainbridge sub-divide?
Audience- Least organised, little commitment. Client- Services 'therapies'. Cultic- Organised, demanding, (moonies).
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What are the three main explanations for the growth of NRMs?
Relative deprivation, Marginality and Social change.
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How does Weber explain marginality as an explanation?
Sects arise in groups that are marginal to society. They offer a theodicy of disprivilege- religious explanatin for their suffering. Nation of Islam recruited from poor in USA. Moonies MC= still marginal to society, drug users ect.
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What do Stark + Bainbridge say about Relative Deprivation and NRMs?
It is the RD who breakaway and form sects. When they seek to compromise beliefs to fit in society, they form sects. world-rejecting offer compensators.
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What does Wilson say about social change and NRMs?
Periods of rapid change disrupt established norms and values, producing anomie and normlessness resulting in sects.
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Bruce, social change and NRMs:
Sects and cults have grown due to social change in modernisation and secularisation =Less attracted to traditional churches as demand too much commitment.
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Why have World-rejecting NRMs grown?
Wallis: Social changes impacting young, longer in education, freedom from adult responsibility, radical political movements gave different ideas about the future. These NRMs attractive as offered idealistic way of life.
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Why have World-affirming NRMs grown?
Bruce: Response to modernity, particularly rationalisation of work.Work is no longer source of identity, these NRMs provide sense of identity.
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Explain Niebuhrs 'denomination or death.'
Believes that sects are short lived. The second generation are not as committed, the Protestant Ethic results in members compromising with world, the death of the leader means it will collapse or a formal one will take over = denomination.
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What does Wilson argue about Established sects?
There are two way sects can be saved: Conversionists- Evangelicals, convert people, grow, denominations. Adventists- Await second coming of Christ. Hold themselves from society, prevents compromise.
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What does Wilson say about globalisation and established sects?
Harder for sects to keep themselves separate from outside world. Globalisation makes easier to recruit from third world.
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Who discusses new age?
Heelas
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How many practitioners of new age were present in the UK in 2008?
146,000
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What are two common themes of new age organisations?
Self-Spirituality: Turned away from traditional religions and look inside themselves instead. Detraditionalisation: Reject the spiritual authority and values personal experience.
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Postmodernity and the new age: Drane
The appeal of new age is due to the shift towards PM society. Science has created problems resulting in a loss of faith in them.
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The new age and modernity: Bruce
The growth of the new age is the latest phase of modernity. Values individualism, value and human potential. Softer versions of Eastern religions. 'Pick and mix.'
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Heelas new age and modernity are linked in four ways:
Source of identity: Different role, NA offers 'authentic' identity. Consumer culture: Dissatisfaction never delivers, NA alternative. Social change: Disrupts norms NA give truth. Organised religion declined = little alternatives.
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Describe gender and religiosity
Women participate more, Miller+Hoffman: Women have greater interest in religion and have a stronger personal commitment to it. BRUCE: Twice as many women in sects than men. H+W: 80% HM participants are women.
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What are the reasons put forward for gender differences?
Socialisation, miller and hoffman: Socialised as passive, part-time work. Davie: Closer to birth and death. Women and new age: Less aggressive, and more caring. Brown: NA support subjective experience not authority = women.
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Glock and Stark: Compensation for deprivation.
Women are more likely to be orgasmicly deprived (health, iller) Ethically deprived (Morally cosnervative, world in decline) And Socially deprived (poor)
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Recent trends of gender differences:
Brierley: 'drastic' decline in churchgoing among women aged 30-45. Brown: Rejected traditional gender roles associated with the church.
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Ethnicity and religiosity trends:
Muslims, Hindus and black christians consider religion more important.
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Reasons for the differences:
Cultural defence- Bird: Religion provides basis for solidarity. Cultural transition: Helps move into community. Pentecostalism is popular among these groups. First-generation immigrants in the USA have high levels of religious participation.
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Age and religious participation trends:
Older the more likely. However, U15's high due to parents and 65+ high due to being sick.
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Reasons for age differences:
Voas+Crockett: Ageing effect, turn to religion as get older Heelas: Naturally concerned about death ect. The generational effect: Society is secular, each generation is less religious.
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