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Lecture -Dec 1, 2010

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Joseph Bryant

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Sociology of Religion Religion more conservative bc claiming eternal truths therefore they have an investement in being stable repeated changes and reforms religious leaders try to avoid weber when confronted with tradition charisma can effectively challenge religion noted charisma by itself is unstable and imited to the individual it is from so cruicial issue is the rootinization of charisma stabling it in the society that it is apart of New religious reform proposed early going is difficult bc trying to make ppl think differently is diffhard to find ppl willing to listen to the new teachings bc change in something u expect to be stable religions is diff ppl in higher status in the current religious establishment are comfortable and will regard the refromers as hereticsradicalsdeviant will be viewed with great suspicionthis is the time where that reformers charisma is challenged during the resistance but if actually feel that the change must be made therefore will endure that harshness Conversion Richard bulliet Islamic scholarMedieval conversion to islamslower process many centurieswas able to show after much research the S curve 1 Available convert pool is diverse phyche and ethnicity 2 Historical contextual setting is crucial for the conversion timingscale 5 diff conversion types Webers sect church dynamic sects and churches are oriented toward a distinctive types of religious intensity or experience and b competing organizational expressions and membership standards Against an existing religious tradtition new religious movements begin by recruiting from those seeking a higher truth a more intense experience for the one with high religious needs tradtion not for you bc its for mass religiosity and most ppl dont want intense religiositywant moderation therefore sects for the high spiritually disposedmore likely to join something newthey are unfulfilled and uninspires by tradition and so are willing to risk joining something newa voluntary association of those who have been called chosen enlightened inspired who are thus charismatically qualifiedcommonly Sectfollow exacting purity requiremenbts engage in intensive spiritual activity zealous commitment to the faithtrue believersvirtuoso or heroic standards of religiosity for the membersa visible community of saintshai hagian the holy ones hai eklektoi the chosensalvation for the few 1 Attracts intense types 2stigma attached to it overall public rep of the sect keep the numbers downif in the sect holiness and sacredness is in the members themselves then the membership itself is a sacred body but in the church the Churchholiness has moved from the individual believer and into the believer itself the sacred words rituals all of those things are holy and the members relcieve the holiness from the church itself so long as theyu are obedientan organization where charismatic sanctity is objectified not in the individual members but in the institution itself in the priestly order the sacrements and ritual the sacred texts a church is an enterprise in salvation dispensing holiness to its members on conditions of loyaltymass religiosity salvation promise has become available to everyone if comply minimallythe church is a school for sinnerslower standards of purit knowledge so long as members remain loyal to the church and its leadership which extends forgiveness and absolutism drawing upon the treasury of grace and holiness held by the churchsalvation democratized The historicalsociological tensionnew religious movemts typically begin in a sectarian mode of heroic or virtuoso religiousty and zeal but to become powerful or stable social presence they must win over those less disposed to such intense religiosity ie they must compromise on the high principles and virtuoso standards to permit a mass popular following what the true message the true teachingsThe MAKING OF ORTHODOXY Successful sects thus move in thye direction of becoming churchesthus sets the stage for a new upsurge of sect formationthe successful again become churches Weber sees a general cyclical pattern passing from tradition to a charismatic upsurge of rigor enthusiasm zeal which eventually leads to a new tradition opening space for new charisma
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