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STRUCTURE OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS 1, An Ecclesia In general, an ecclesia becomes the established religion of the society. The ecclesia develops a formal hierarchy with an extensive bureaucracy and tends to exert influence through society especially the goverment. The Roman Catholic church in Europe during the Middle Ages providea an example of an Ecclesia. 2. A Denomination is a religious organizaton that has accepted the existence and validity of other religious organizations. In the contemporary United States the larger religious groups such as the; Catholics, Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Lutherans would constitute examples of denominations. 3. A Sect is a religious group which tends to reject the secular aspects of life and supports a ridged interpretation of creed. Sects frequently view themselves as reviving the true belief which has been adulterated by the secularizaton of the mainstream religion. 4. A Cult is a loosely structured religious group which tends to be independent of the
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Unformatted text preview: established religious traditions of the society. Cults tend to be open to anyone wishing to join but, because of their departure from esta, tend to have large segments of the population joining them. In the contemporary United States the Hare Krishna and the Church of Scientology woul Emile Durkheim's View on Religion: The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1915) 1. Viewed religion as a reflection of society. 2. Religion functioned to bring about social cohesion (holding the group together) (folk society) 3. Religious beliefs and rituals function to restrain deviant behavior and bring about conformity to existing normative structure (heaven = rreward) (hell = punishment) 4. Religion functions to provide a vehicle through which cultural traditions and values are transmitted from generation to gereration (religious beliefs make cultural values sacred)...
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