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Topic 6 (Organisations, movements and membmers)

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Churches: (large, formal organisations, universal appeal, tied to state, hierarchy) Sects (small organisation, alternative values, charasmatic leader)
Evaluation of Troeltsch
Descriptions don't completely relate to modern society e.g. churches lose monopoly + become denomination
Denominations: ('inbetween church and a sect e.g. methodist church, hierarchy but not tied to the state, appeals to wide audience but not universal appeal of church,supports dominant norms, represent significan minhority instead of a majority) Cult: (least organisaed, individualistic, small ,loose-knit, no sharply defined beliefs)
Church size
hundreds of thousands of members
Denomination size
thousands to hundreds of thousands of members
Sect size
a few thousand at most, sometimes just a handful of members
Criticises Niebhur for not taking into acount conflict in religious organisations
New Religious Movements have grown since the 70s: world rejecting, world affirming, world accomodating
World rejecting
Wallis' new religious movements: e.g. the people's temple, strict moral codes, demand loyalty, live away from outside world, radically critical of outside world
World Affirming
Wallis' new religious movements: e.g. transcendental meditation, accept society, hold mainstream values, focus on helping followers with mainstream goals, not demanding, different to Troeltsch's definition of a sect
World Accommodating
Wallis' new religioue movements: e.g. neo-pentecostalists, breakaways from existing religions, focus on religious matter, aim to restore former purity, not demanding, neither affirm or reject
Stark and Bainbridge
Criticise Wallis: ignores diversity within new religious movements, doesn't take into account conflict, its too fixed
Respectable (conform to dominant norms) vs. deviant (reject the dominant norms)
Uniquely legitimate (believe they hold the ultimate truth) vs. pluralistically legitimate (tolerant of other belief systems)
Stark and Bainbridge
typologies often overlap and should focus on level of clonflict between the organisation and wider society
Stark and Bainbridge
Sects are broken off from existing religions, conflict with wider society offereing other-worldly benefits to those suffering ethical/economical deprivation
Stark and Bainbridge
Cults are new religions (e.g.scientology) offering this-worldly benefits to those suffering psychic/health deprivation
Stark and Bainbridge
Three types of culte: audience, client and culticmovements
S + B: this type of cult is less organisaed, informal, less devotion required, purpose is to entertain e.g. astrology
Cultic movement
S + B: this tyoe of cult is organised, exclusive, high devotion needed, cult dictates members' lives e.g. living in commune
S + B: this type of cult acts as personal fulfillment, offers a service to improve members' lives e.g. TM
Reason for growth in NRMs is due to marginality; NRMs provide the marginalised with theodocy of dispriveledge which justifies their position and promises salvation (However relative deprivation theory says the rich van be deprived too)
Stark and Bainbridge
Some may feel spiritually deprived evemn though they may be quite well off, sects offer a sense of community. It is the relatively deprived that move towrads sects
Sects arise in periods of rapid social change as the change creates anomie by undermining traditional norms e.g methodist movement: a response to uncertainties of new, urban environment
world rejecting NRMs: appeared in 60s as freedom for younger people enabled idealistic counter-cultures. World affirming NRMs grew due to response to mdoernity which brought industrialisation or work, provided sense of idenity
Reasons for growth in NRMs: growth in higher education (transition between childhood and adulthood = freedom to experiment) + growth of radical politics ( e.g. anti-Vietnam movement, civil rights movement)
Denomination or Death:sects don't survive more than one generation due to the second generation being less committed, the ideology not being sustainable in the long-term, loss of a charasmatic leader
Stark and Bainbridge
Religious organisation move through a sectariam cycle
Criticises Stark and Bainbridge arguing not all religious organisations follow the sectarian cycle, a key factor affecting the life of sects is belief about how they will be saved
Life-cycle of sects: conversionist/evangelical, adventist,established
Wilson: This sect attempts to recruite/convert as many as possible to expand and becom a denomination
Wilson: This sect has restrictive membership remaining small, millenarian beliefes, only members rewarded in the afterlife, unlikely to become a denomination
Wilson: This sect survives for many generations e.g Armish
Life cycles of NRMs: rejecting (change stance as time passes, few survive in long-term), affirming (adapts to suit market e.g. Transcendental meditaion adapted in 70s to appeal to broader audience), accommodating (not affected by external circumstancess, long term)
Estimates that audience cults/client cults in the UK cover about 2000 countries + 146,000 practitioners because they're diverse (e.g.New Age) (However NA siz is insignificant)
Heelas: rejection of external Gods, look to one's self for spiritual enlightenment
Heelas: rejection of traditional source of authority (e.g.churches), responsible for own spiritual path
Post mod:Reason for growth in the New Age is becayse science has failed to answer main questions, lost faith in experts and have becom disillusioned with churches failure to meet needs
Modernist: New Age has grown because modern society attracts those in 'expressive professions', electicism reflects diverse modern society, emphasises individualism through self-improvement
The New Age is a source of authentic identity as in modernity individual identity is fragmented, is an alternative in conumer culture, helps to deal with rapid social change, fills a spiritual gap
UK 2005 Census: 1979 45% male and 55% female involved in religion and 2005 43% male 57% female
45% males and 55% females involved in religion
43% males and 57% females involved in religion
Estimates twice as many women than men are involved in sects
There's been a shift towards private sphere = more involvement of women + child-rearing makes women less agressive + caring which fits in to expressive emphasis of the new age
80% of the hollistic milieu in Kendal were femaleal
The New Age appeals to women's wish for autonomy
Miller & Hoffman
Risk and gender: differential socialisation, structural location and risk-taking behaviour
Differential socialisation
Miller & Hoffman: women taught to be more passive which religion requires (obedience)
Structural location
Miller & Hoffman: women more likely to be part-time housekeepers/primary carer of children, taking children to church is an extension of mother role
Risk-taking behaviour
Miller & Hoffman: women less likely to take risks, being non-religious = risk
women's closer proximity to birth and death brings them closer to the 'ultimate questions' about life that religion is concerned with
Glock and Stark
Deprivation is more common among women = higher level of sect membership
Organismic deprivation
Glock and Stark: women more likely to suffer ill health and seek healing
Ethical deprivation
Glock and Stark: women more morally conservative and attracted to conservatism of some sects
Social deprivation
Glock and Stark: women more likely to be poor and join sects
Modood et al
importance attached to religion: 11% of white church of England, 71% of Caribbean of new protestant, 43% Hindus, 74% Muslims believe religion is very important
The reason for the high religiosity is due to origins and cultural identity, community and socialisation and coping with oppression
Origins and cultural identity
Bird: ethnic groups may come from areas with high religiosity = maintaining identity
Community and socialisation
Bird: ethnic groups establish contacts through religion, children may be under pressure during socialisation to maintain religious committment
Coping with oppression
Bird/Pryce: studied Pentecostalist African Caribbean community in Bristol, their faith helped to deal with racism
Ethnic minorities take three paths when in a different culture/country: Apostasy, Accommodation and Renewed vigor
beliefs abandoned to avoid danger/hostile environment
Chryssides: beliefs are adapted to new environment e.g. Muslim women dressing fashionably but conservatively
Renewed Vigor
Chryssides: beliefs asserted more strongly in response to hostility e.g Islamic extremists in the UK
Under 15s more likely to go to church as have to attend with parents, over 65s more likely to be sick and unable to attend, however 60% of churches have no 15-19 year olds
Brierly: Average age of a churchgoer: 37
Average age of a churchgoer: 49
Heelas et al
New Age attracts the middle aged or older
Ageing effect
Voas and Crocket: fear of death when elderly, desire for children to be socialised with religion
period effect
Voas and Crocket: some born in certain times such as war may be more religious
progressive secularisation
Voas and Crockett: each generation is less religious and less eager to socialise their children into religion
generational effect
Voas and Crocket:older people were brought up when religion was more popular