Non-members can become more familiar with at least some NRMs and lose some of their fear as the movements merge into the ever growing diversity of religions, cultures, and moralities of an increasingly globalizing world. While the earlier Christian sects were classified in Religious Sects by Bryan Wilson according to the actions that they believed necessary to achieve salvation, no such satisfactory typology has been developed for the more disparate NRMs.
Possibly the most useful distinction is that elaborated in The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life by Roy Wallis between world rejecting, world affirming, and world accommodating movements. World rejecting movements such as the Children of God in its early days typically entertain some kind of millennial expectation that the world will undergo radical change.
World accommodating movements to which Wallis assigns the Aetherius Society, Subud, and Charismatic Renewal are fairly content with, or indifferent to, the world as it is. Some have argued that the movements are a reflection of society, others that they arise in reaction to it; both accounts have some truth in them. It has often been observed that the more fundamentalist NRMs arose as a reaction to modernization and secularism.
As society moved from a production oriented economy with the work ethic playing a central role to a consumer economy, the image of a personal God was replaced by the idea of an impersonal force or spirit, and rewards became increasingly sought in this life, in this world — or, via reincarnation, in the next life, but still in this world. No one knows exactly how many NRMs there are. The uncertainty lies partly in the definition, and partly in deciding where to draw boundaries.
Are the hundreds of New Age groups all to be individually listed or should they be counted in clusters? There are, moreover, undoubtedly NRMs about which few but their members have ever heard. It is, however, probable that there are around 2, identifiable NRMs in Europe and North America, with a roughly similar number in Asia and possibly depending again on what is included by the definition several thousand more in Africa and elsewhere.
But while the number of NRMs is large, the number of members is usually relatively small. Again, it is difficult to estimate precise figures for most movements. Both NRMs and their opponents tend to exaggerate membership statistics, but further confusion arises because, just as with older religions, there are several ways of counting: there are core members who, like priests, nuns, or missionaries, devote their entire lives to the movements; but there are also congregational members, others who participate on special occasions only, and yet others who are sympathizers, but might be included as members, even though they could belong to another religion.
In fact, although core members of world rejecting movements tend to have an exclusive relationship with their particular movement, those who associate with world affirming groups may be quite promiscuous in their allegiances at a more peripheral level, practicing transcendental meditation, partaking in a number of complementary medicines, attending an assortment of encounter groups, communicating with the angelic realm, and dropping into a Krishna restaurant for a vegetarian meal.
Another difficulty is a high turnover rate, with joiners being counted more assiduously than leavers. Many people have joined an NRM for a short period of time, but then decided that it was not for them after all, and have left. This fact, which has been demonstrated by a large number of scholarly studies of a variety of movements, causes embarrassment for both the NRMs and their opponents, the latter being eager to explain membership of NRMs in terms of brainwashing or mind control — especially when they have had an interest in the illegal practice of involuntary deprogramming.
However, while it is true that many NRMs, at least in their early days, have, like evangelical Christians, put considerable pressure on potential converts, this tends not to be all that effective. A study of the Unification Church in the late s, when accusations of brainwashing were at their height, discovered that over 90 percent of those who became sufficiently interested in the movement to attend a residential workshop decided not to join, and the majority of those who did join left within two years Barker Indeed, many NRMs fail to survive much beyond two or three generations.
Different individuals, groups, and societies have responded to the contemporary NRMs in a variety of ways. Some individuals have become involved in active opposition — particularly the parents of young converts who have given up promising careers and cut themselves off from family and former friends.
At least part of the variation is likely to be traceable to previous relationships, and part to the extent to which an NRM demands exclusive commitment from its members. Since the s there has been a mushrooming of groups formed by parents and others opposed to specific NRMs or the movements in general.
These began to network and came to be generically referred to as the anti-cult movement. Fourthly, there are what have been referred to as cult apologist groups, which are often closely associated with the NRMs themselves. These form a mirror image of anti-cult groups insofar as they select only positive aspects of NRMs and high light the negative features of the anti-cultists.
Official responses to the NRMs have varied, from their being completely outlawed in some Islamic countries to their being treated in the same way as any other religion in countries such as the Netherlands or the US, although actual practices have not always been as even handed as the law would seem to demand.
Several countries require religions to register in order to become recognized legal entities, and sometimes there are two or more levels at which registration may occur, with special privileges for, say, established, state, or traditional religions. Sometimes criteria for registration require having been active in the country for a certain number of years, or having a minimum number of members, both of which can militate against NRMs. These groups claim to access to spiritual or supernatural powers, and aim to help members access these powers so that they can be successful in life, by unleashing their full potential.
We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
Key features of World Accommodating New Religious Movements They are typically offshoots of an already existing religion. For example, neo-Pentecostal groups developed from Protestantism or Catholicism. They tend to focus on helping individual members develop their own interior sense of spirituality and commitment to God.
Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. After their formation, sects can take only three paths - dissolution, institutionalization, or eventual development into a denomination. If the sect withers in membership, it will dissolve. If the membership increases, the sect is forced to adopt the characteristics of denominations in order to maintain order e.
And even if the membership does not grow or grows slowly, norms will develop to govern group activities and behavior. The development of norms results in a decrease in spontaneity, which is often one of the primary attractions of sects. The adoption of denomination-like characteristics can either turn the sect into a full-blown denomination or, if a conscious effort is made to maintain some of the spontaneity and protest components of sects, an institutionalized sect can result.
Institutionalized sects are halfway between sects and denominations on the continuum of religious development. They have a mixture of sect-like and denomination-like characteristics. Examples include: Hutterites , Iglesia ni Cristo , and the Amish. Most of the well-known denominations of the U. Examples include: Methodists , Baptists , and Seventh-day Adventists.
An example of an institutionalized sect that did not become a denomination are the Mennonites. The concept of "cult" has lagged behind in the refinement of the terms that are used in analyzing the other forms of religious origination. Bruce Campbell discusses Troeltsch's concept in defining cults as non-traditional religious groups that are based on belief in a divine element within the individual. He gives three ideal types of cults:. In the late-nineteenth century a number of works [ which?
Cults are inherently ephemeral and loosely organized. This analysis can divide the cults into being either occults or metaphysical assemblies. Campbell proposes that cults are non-traditional religious groups based on belief in a divine element in the individual. Other than the two main types, there is also a third type - the service-oriented cult.
Campbell states that "the kinds of stable forms which evolve in the development of religious organization will bear a significant relationship to the content of the religious experience of the founder or founders". In standard sociological typology, cults are, like sects, new religious groups.
But, unlike sects, they can form without breaking off from another religious group, though this is by no means always the case. The characteristic that most distinguishes cults from sects is that they do not advocate a return to pure religion but rather promote embracing something new or something that has been completely lost or forgotten e.
Cults are also much more likely to be led by charismatic leaders than are other religious groups, and the charismatic leaders tend to be the individuals who bring forth the new or lost component that is the focal element of the cult. Cults, like sects, often integrate elements of existing religious theologies, but cults tend to create more esoteric theologies synthesized from many sources. Johnstone, cults tend to emphasize the individual and individual peace. Cults, like sects, can develop into denominations.
As cults grow, they bureaucratize and develop many of the characteristics of denominations. Some scholars are hesitant to grant cults denominational status because many cults maintain their more esoteric characteristics. But their closer semblance to denominations than to the cult type allows classifying them as denominations.
From the second half of the 20th century, some scholars in the social scientific study of religion have advocated referring to cults as new religious movements NRMs  - hoping to avoid the often pejorative and derogatory connotations attached to the word "cult" in popular language. Religious scholar John A. He argues that the influx of Eastern religious systems, including Taoism , Confucianism and Shintoism , which do not fit within the traditional distinctions between church, sect, denomination and cult, have compounded typological difficulties.
Single congregations continuously move on the church-sect spectrum. They switch between "churches" and "sects", strategically adapting their religious practices to the given context. Lorne L. Dawson examines the history and future of the church-sect typology in a article, opining that the typology survives as a useful tool. The sociologist Roy Wallis — introduced differing definitions of sects and cults. He argued that a cult is characterized by " epistemological individualism" by which he means that "the cult has no clear locus of final authority beyond the individual member.
Wallis asserts that cults emerge from the "cultic milieu. According to Wallis, "sects lay a claim to possess unique and privileged access to the truth or salvation, such as collective salvation , and their committed adherents typically regard all those outside the confines of the collectivity as 'in error'. In , the sociologists Rodney Stark and William Sims Bainbridge  distinguish three types of cults , classified on the basis of the levels of organizational and client or adherent involvement:  .
The sociologist Paul Schnabel has argued that the Church of Scientology originated from an audience cult the readership of Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and the Astounding Science Fiction article which had preceded it into a client cult Dianetics then into a cult movement the Church of Scientology. The sociologist Roy Wallis introduced a classification system of new religious movements based on movements' views on and relationships with the world at large.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from World-accommodating movement. Further information: Church congregation. Main article: Religious denomination. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Sect. Main article: Cult.