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A sect starts out as a community of dedicated people who are engaged in conflict with the world. But this attitude is hard to maintain in the long run, and eventually the sect begins to accept more and more inputs from the surrounding society. Eventually, the sect changes into a denomination.

This process gives us a very clear example of the kind of religious change that can occur in a community. Sometimes this change occurs after the death of a charismatic founder. The new successors then need to administer a fast–growing administration and in this process an institution with authority is created to replace the charismatic founder.

Another reality that promotes the transition from sect to denomination is the arrival of the second generation. This event implies that the congregation no longer consists solely of converts. There now adherents or followers who do not belong to the group for reasons of commitment or dissatisfaction with society, but who were born into the group. Once grievances against society start to fade away and the wealthier members start to play a more prominent role in the internal life of the sect, the hostile attitude the group once had towards the world also starts to diminish.

We can see this happening today in the Hare Krishna movement (more correctly known as ISKCON). When it started out, it was a militant sect within Hinduism, trying to convert not only other Hindus, but non–Hindus too. But since the death of the founder, Sri Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta, the movement has made peace with other Hindus, built magnificent temples, and has become much less aggressive in recruiting new members. It is well on the way to becoming a Hindu denomination

When such a group also starts to demand that its leadership undergo formal theological training, the erstwhile sect is well on its way to becoming a denomination. At this stage the process starts to repeat itself. On its way to becoming a denomination, the sect starts to lose those qualities which attracted the original members. Conflict arises and often some members break away to form a new sect.

The transformation of sects into denominations is one of the best known phenomena in the history of religions. Think of the most staid, respectable church you can think of. For argument's sake, let us say the Methodist Church. Now, if you go and read up on the founding of Methodism by John Wesley and his friends, you will be amazed to find just how radical and sectarian they were thought to be at the time!


Of the four types of religious organisations discussed here, the cult is by far the most difficult to describe. Individuals are not born into a cult and do not join the cult formally. Support for a cult varies widely and official proof of support may not exist at all. Association is completely voluntary and membership of the cult does not imply acceptance of group discipline nor does it necessarily cancel one’s membership of more conventional groups. The leadership of a cult is charismatic and informal. The convictions of a cult often centre on a single function, such as faith healing. Cult adherents are often uprooted individuals who join the group when they are confronted with loneliness or other frustrations.

In Religion Studies, "cult" is a technical term only used in reference to this fourfold typology. When working with contemporary religious developments, it is preferable to use the term New religious Movement (NRM).

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Learning about religion. OpenStax CNX. Apr 18, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11780/1.1
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