These events often get right down to the point, addressing frank issues and problems of daily living in 50 minutes or less with just enough time for one group of parishioners to file out while the next worshippers are filing in Lesson 4: Sex Sells Some publishers have combined youth pop culture with the traditional Bible to engender a new genre of the New Testament: the Biblezine The Bibleziness lies in their appeal to youth culture, but a danger may lie in their ease, speed, and slickness Specifically, some skeptics ask what happens to religion’s deep meanings and sense of greatness when they are subsumed by commercialization and marketing Faith and marketing have long been intertwined The Paradox of Popularity H. Richard Niebuhr set out to explain why so many religious groupings exist under one faith, Christianity He concluded that the reason for so many different denominations was that people had a diversity of needs, and indeed, in a highly pluralistic society such as America, there is something for everyone The Sect-Church Cycle Sociologists classify religious organizations as churches, sects, or cults Churches are religious bodies that coexist in a relatively low state of tension with her social surroundings. They have mainstream, “safe” beliefs and practices relative to those of the general population Sects/Sectarian groups are high-tension organizations that don’t fit well within the existing social environment. They are usually most attractive to society’s least privileged—outcasts, minorities, or the poor—because they downplay worldly pleasure by the stressing otherworldly promises Sects can be an appealing alternative to engagement in secular life, because sectarian groups typically limit their contact with the outside world, keeping mainstream culture at a distance for fear of contamination A cult is a religious movement that makes some new claim about some new claim about the supernatural and therefore does not easily fit within the sect-church style R V CHAPTER 16: RELIGION
All religions begin as cults, and their leaders offer new insights, claiming that they are the word of God Because they’re so novel, cults are often high-tension movements that antagonize their social world and/or are antagonized by it The sect-church style is currently playing out for evangelicals, the conservative Protestant congregations that blossomed in the South and have been growing steadily over the last two centuries (as compared to liberal Protestant congregations), while mainline Protestant churches have more recently seen declines in membership Traditionalists and centrists each account for 40-50% of evangelicals; modernists make up the remaining minority “Emerging” or “postmodern” churches, also called “alt-worship,” have tapped into a generation of religious dropouts, those with little or no formal attachment to the church The disillusionment of these dropouts has arisen as part of a backlash against the enormous success of megafaiths Why Are Conservative Churches Growing?
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 14 pages?
- Spring '08
- Sociology, The Bible, Karl Marx, New Testament, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Emilie Durkheim