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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Joseph Bryant

2010-12-01 Lec #11 CHURCH An organization where charismatic sanctity is objectified not in the individual members, but in the institution itself. In the priestly order, the sacraments and rituals, the sacred texts a church is an enterprise in salvation, dispensing holiness to its members on conditions of loyalty = mass religiosity the church is a school for sinners lower standards of purity, knowledge, so long as members remain loyal to the church and its leadership, which extends forgiveness and absolution, drawing upon the treasuryrepository of grace and holiness held by the church = salvation democratized The historical-sociological tension New religious movements typically begin in a sectarian mode of heroic or virtuoso religiosity and zeal, but to become a 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 or popular following THE MAKING OF ORTHODOXY (ie what is the true message, the true teachings, the requirements etc?) so a protracted struggle over: Successful sects thus move in the direction of becoming churches This sets the stage for a new upsurge of sect formation The successful again become churches Weber sees a general cyclical pattern, passing from tradition to charismatic upsurge of rigor, enthusiasm, zeal, which eventually leads to a new tradition, opening space for new charisma... Christianity: (1) Originates as a sectarian reform movement within Judaism ... (2) develops into a new conversionist Salvationist cult religion ... (3) eventually achieving imperial church status Source problems: no contemporary accounts of H;s ministry or career NT texts are ex post facto faith-based accounts, not history; NT writings fulfill the prophecies of the Hebrew scriptures, ~imitative modelling
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