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Soc 214 april 2.doc

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SOC 214
Lisa Broda

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Sociology 214 April 2 1 Typologies of Religious Groups  Ecclesia: state religions; a specific religious belief system adopted at the governmental level  Churches: large and powerful religious organizations and groups  Denominations: subdivisions of churches  Sects: smaller religious groups that have usually broken away from larger churches. Less established in society than churches. Have few members, and require higher levels of commitment from the members ◦ the level of tension determined by a particular sect within society is determine by 1. the level of antagonism that the sec feels for/in society 2. the magnitude of the difference between the sect and society 3. the extent to which the sect separates itself from the larger world ◦ tensions emerge from bi-directional processes: society has antagonism towards specific religious groups and vice versa ◦ deviance amplification: when a "deviant" group becomes more deviant as a response to hostilities and social control efforts  Cults: smaller than sects [usually]. Doctrine even more reactionary; requires intense levels of commitment from members ◦ the tensions with wider society are typically of greater magnitude, specifically in the realm of public attitudes ◦ public perception: dangerous to themselves, to other individuals, and society ◦ associated with violence, sexual deviance, and mind control ◦ is explained by the selective and distorted coverage of cults due to: the use of biased sources of information (ex members of cults but not sociologist who conduct research on cults). A lack of accurate or in-depth knowledge about cults. Limited time or financial resources that result in the tendency to over-report sensationalistic stories with ignoring later developments ◦ Religious Deviance continued  this typology has been traditionally used to construct and determine whether or not a group is “deviant”  e
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