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Encyclopedia > Sect

In the sociology of religion a sect is generally a small religious or political group that has broken off from a larger group, for example from a large, well-established religious group, like a denomination, usually due to a dispute about doctrinal matters. Sect is an ancient astrological concept in which the seven traditional planets (including the Sun, the Moon and the five starry planets) are assigned to two different categories: diurnal or nocturnal sect. ... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ...


In its historical usage in Christendom the term has a pejorative connotation and refers to a movement committed to heretical beliefs and that often deviated from orthodox practices.[1] This T-and-O map, which abstracts the known world to a cross inscribed within an orb, remakes geography in the service of Christian iconography. ... Heresy, as a blanket term, describes a practice or belief that is labeled as unorthodox. ...


A sect as used in an Indian context refers to an organized tradition.

Contents

Etymology

The word sect comes from the Latin sects (from sequire to follow), meaning (1) a course of action or way of life, (2) a behavioural code or founding principles, (3) a specific philosophical school or doctrine. Sectarius or sectilis also refer to a scission or cut, but this meaning is, in contrast to popular opinion, unrelated to the etymology of the word. A sectator is a loyal guide, adherent or follower. For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ...


Sociological definitions and descriptions

Main article: church-sect typology

There are several different sociological definitions and descriptions for the term.[2] One of the first ones to define them were Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch (1931)[3] In the church-sect typology they are described as newly formed religious groups that form to protest elements of their parent religion (generally a denomination). Their motivation tends to be situated in accusations of apostasy or heresy in the parent denomination; they are often decrying liberal trends in denominational development and advocating a return to true religion. The American sociologists Rodney Stark and William Sims Bainbridge assert that "sects claim to be authentic purged, refurbished version of the faith from which they split".[4] They further assert that sects have, in contrast to churches, a high degree of tension with the surrounding society.[5] In the sociology of religion, church-sect typology is a method of classifying religious organizations. ... For the politician, see Max Weber (politician). ... Ernst Troeltsch ( February 17 1865 – February 1, 1923) was a German Protestant theologian and writer on philosophy of religion and philosophy of history, and an influential figure in German thought before 1914. ... In the sociology of religion, church-sect typology is a method of classifying religious organizations. ... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ... Look up Heresy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. ... Dr. William Sims Bainbridge (October 12, 1940 - present) is an innovative American sociologist who currently resides in Virginia. ...


Sectarianism is sometimes defined in the sociology of religion as a worldview that emphasizes the unique legitimacy of believers' creed and practices and that heightens tension with the larger society by engaging in boundary-maintaining practices.[6] Sectarianism refers (usually pejoratively) to a rigid adherence to a particular sect or party or religious denomination. ... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ...


A religious or political cult, by contrast, also has a high degree of tension with the surrounding society, but its beliefs are, within the context of that society, new and innovative. Whereas the cult is able to enforce its norms and ideas against members, a sect normally doesn't strictly have "members" with definite obligations, only followers, sympathisers, supporters or believers. This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ... The word norm coming from the latin word norma which means angle measure or (lawlike) rule, has a number of meanings: A social or sociological norm; see norm (sociology). ...


Mass-based socialist, social-democratic, labor and communist parties often had their historical origin in utopian sects, and also subsequently produced many sects, which split off from the mass party. In particular, the communist parties from 1919 experienced numerous splits; some of them, it is argued, were sects from their foundation. Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. ...


One of the main factors that seems to produce political sects is the rigid continued adherence to a doctrine or idea after its time has passed, or after it has ceased to have clear applicability to a changing reality.


The English sociologist Roy Wallis[7] argues that a sect is characterized by “epistemological authoritarianism”: sects possess some authoritative locus for the legitimate attribution of heresy. According to Wallis, “sects lay a claim to possess unique and privileged access to the truth or salvation and “their committed adherents typically regard all those outside the confines of the collectivity as 'in error'”. He contrasts this with a cult that he described as characterized by “epistemological individualism” by which he means that “the cult has no clear locus of final authority beyond the individual member.”[8][9] Roy Wallis, is a sociologist and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at The Queen’s University of Belfast. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ...


The concept of sect as used in an Indian context

The Indologist Axel Michaels writes in his book about Hinduism that in an Indian context the word “sect does not denote a split or excluded community, but rather an organized tradition, usually established by founder with ascetic practices.” And according to Michaels, “Indian sects do not focus on heresy, since the lack of a center or a compulsory center makes this impossible – instead, the focus is on adherents and followers.”[10] Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Look up Heresy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu sects. ...

Corresponding words in French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish, Dutch, and Romanian

In European languages other than English the corresponding words for 'sect', such as "secte", "secta", "seita", "sekta", "sekte" or "Sekte", are used sometimes to refer to a harmful religious or political sect, similar to how English-speakers popularly use the word 'cult'. In France, since the 1970's, "secte" has a specific meaning, which is very different of the english word [11] . For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... There are many meanings for the word cult: A practice within a religion; see cult (religion). ...


Meaning of the word in countries with strong Catholic traditions

In Latin America, it is often applied by Roman Catholics to any non-Roman Catholic religious group, regardless of size, often with the same negative connotation that 'cult' has in English, in turn some Latin American Protestants refer to groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc, as sects. Similarly, in some European countries where Protestantism has never gained much popularity Orthodox churches (both Greek and Roman) often depict Protestant groups (especially smaller ones) as sects. This can be observed, among others, in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... For more general information about religious denominations that follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. ...


See also

This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ... Ideal type, also known as pure type, or idealtyp (in the original German), is a typological term invented by sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920). ... List of religious movements labelled or classified as sects in one of the sociological meanings of the term. ... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ... This article may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer. ... Sectarianism refers (usually pejoratively) to a rigid adherence to a particular sect or party or religious denomination. ... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ...

References

  1. ^ Wilson, Bryan Religion in Sociological Perspective 1982, ISBN 0-19-826664-2 Oxford University Press page 89
    "In English, it is a term that designates a religiously separated group, but in its historical usage in Christendom it carried a distinctly pejorative connotation. A sect was a movement committed to heretical beliefs and often to ritual acts and practices that departed from orthodox religious procedures."
  2. ^ McCormick Maaga, Mary excerpt from her book Hearing the Voices of Jonestown (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1998) available online
  3. ^ McCormick Maaga, Mary excerpt from her book Hearing the Voices of Jonestown (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1998) . available online
  4. ^ Stark, Rodney, and Williams Sims Bainbridge (1979) Of Churches, Sects, and Cults: Preliminary Concepts for a Theory of Religious Movements Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 18, no 2: 117-33
  5. ^ Stark, Rodney, and William Sims Bainbridge (1985) The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival, and Cult formation Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press
  6. ^ McGuire, Meredith B. "Religion: the Social Context" fifth edition (2002) ISBN 0-534-54126-7 page 338
  7. ^ Barker, E. New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction (1990), Bernan Press, ISBN 0-11-340927-3
  8. ^ Wallis, Roy The Road to Total Freedom A Sociological analysis of Scientology (1976) available online (bad scan)
  9. ^ Wallis, Roy Scientology: Therapeutic Cult to Religious Sect abstract only (1975)
  10. ^ Alex Michaels "Hinduism past and Present" (2004) Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-08952-3, translated from German "Der Hinduismus" (1998) page 319
  11. ^ Esquerre Arnaud, « Lutter contre les sectes : l’invention d’un psycho-pouvoir », Le Banquet, n°24, feb. 2007, p. 199-212

Bryan Ronald Wilson, (25 June 1926 Leeds - 9 October 2004 Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire), was the Reader Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Oxford and was President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion between 1971 and 1975. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... For other uses, see Jonestown (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Jonestown (disambiguation). ... Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. ... Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. ... Dr. William Sims Bainbridge (October 12, 1940 - present) is an innovative American sociologist who currently resides in Virginia. ... Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ...

External links

  • Three Groups in One by Mary McCormick Maaga excerpt from her book Hearing the Voices of Jonestown (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1998)
  • Apologetics Index: research resources on cults, sects, and related issues. The publisher operates from an evangelical Christian point of view, but the site links to and presents a variety of viewpoints.
  • ReligionNewsBlog.com Current news articles about religious cults, sects, and related issues.
  • Church sect theory by William H. Swatos, Jr . in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Society by Swatos (editor)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (610 words)
Sects have many beliefs and practices in common with the religion or party that they have broken off from, but are differentiated by a number of doctrinal differences.
The word sect comes from the Latin secta (from sequi to follow), meaning (1) a course of action or way of life, (2) a behavioural code or founding principles, (3) a specific philosophical school or doctrine.
Sects, in the sociological sense, are generally traditionalist and conservative, seeking to return a religion to its (perceived) original religious or political purity of principle.
Sect - definition of Sect in Encyclopedia (340 words)
Sects have many beliefs and practices in common with the religion that they have broken off from, but are differentiated by a number of doctrinal differences.
Sociologists use the word sect to refer to a religious group with a high degree of tension with the surrounding society, but whose beliefs are (within the context of that society) largely traditional.
Sects, in the sociological sense, are generally traditionalist and conservative, seeking to return a religion to its (perceived) religious purity.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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