First Century C.E. Paul 160-220 Tertullian 272-337 Constantine 354-430 Augustine 1225-1274 Thomas 1483-1546 Luther 1509-1564 Calvin
Clergy Laity church state Nobility Commoner
SOURCE: Luke Timothy Johnson. The Resurrection is the basis for Christianity becoming a worldwide religion rather than a sect within Judaism. RECALL
SOURCE : Rodney Stark. The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force. (HarperOne, 1997). The Rise of Christianity
People with attempt to escape or resolve a marginal position.
SOURCE : Rodney Stark. The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force. (HarperOne, 1997). The Rise of Christianity 2. People are willing to adopt a new religion to the extent that it retains cultural continuity with conventional religion.
SOURCE : Rodney Stark. The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force. (HarperOne, 1997). The Rise of Christianity 3. Social movements grow much faster when they spread through preexisting social networks.
SOURCE : Rodney Stark. The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force. (HarperOne, 1997). The Rise of Christianity Religions supplies “compensators” or rewards that are scarce or unavailable.
The Rise of Christianity Religions provide a symbolic form of attachment that stands in for both conscience and community.
Why was Christian monotheism so powerful as a belief system? Omniscience and omnipresence of God represents a private and public form of sacred inclusion.
Historical Context Paul (originally Saul) of Tarsus (modern Turkey) converted to Christianity.
Historical Context Paul was a salesman and community-organizer.
Historical Context Paul establishes stable urban religious communities.
Paul and the Spread of Christianity He went on numerous missionary expeditions, setting up Christian churches in major urban areas in Cilicia, Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Achaia (modern Turkey and Greece).
Paul and the Spread of Christianity He help convert former pagans to belief in the one God of the Jews and Jesus, his Son, whose death brought salvation.
Historical Context Tertullian: the church holds itself as the great counter-kingdom.
Historical Context Augustine: from negative toleration to positive acceptance.
The Church-Sect Continuum
The Problem of Categorizing Religions church : a tradition which has been significantly integrated in society through the process of institutionalization (organizations, politics, etc.)
Seven Features of Churches
Claim universality, include all members of the society within their ranks, and have a strong tendency to equate “citizenship” with “membership”
Exercise religious monopoly and try to eliminate religious competition
Are very closely allied with the state and secular powers –frequently there is overlapping of responsibilities and much mutual reinforcement
Are extensively organized as a hierarchical bureaucratic institution with a complex division of labor
Employ professional, full-time clergy who possess the appropriate credentials of education and formal ordination
Primarily gain new members through natural reproduction and the socialization of children into the ranks
Allow for diversity by creating different groups within the church (e.g., orders of nuns or monks) rather than through the formation of new religions
SOURCE: Ronald L. Johnston. Religion In Society: A Sociology Of Religion. (Prentice-Hall, 2009).
The Problem of Categorizing Religions sect : a group that has separated from an established church or religious tradition in protest in order to maintain a distinct sense of “purity” or “truth”
The Problem of Categorizing Religions cult : a derogatory term often used to categorize extreme religious groups; these groups tend to have a powerful leader that bounds or restricts choice among its members
The Problem of Categorizing Religions All of these categories are ideal types that attempt to characterize how religious groups maintain their sense of community over time.
The Problem of Categorizing Religions At the same time, these are scholarly attempts to describe the ever-changing dynamics of new religious groups and practices.
Beware! These categories are often used to portray religious groups in certain (positive or negative) light.
Christian Traditions Catholic Orthodox Protestant
Roman Catholicism The organization of the church is universal and hierarchical.
Roman Catholicism Bishops, local clergy, and laity
Roman Catholicism All male, celibate clergy
Roman Catholicism Piety extends to communion of “saints” such as Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Orthodox Christianity This tradition claims continuity with the earliest church.
Orthodox Christianity It is a schism created through a political rivalry between the old Rome and the “New Rome” of Constantinople.
Orthodox Christianity It is centered on worship or liturgy.
Protestant Christianity The Protestant tradition began in the 16th century as an attempt to reform what was regarded as the corrupt Catholicism of the late-medieval period.
Protestant Christianity Martin Luther
Religious Diversity in America The Reformation
Religious Diversity in America sola scriptura (religion should be based on scripture alone)
Religious Diversity in America sola fida (man is saved by faith alone)
Religious Diversity in America priesthood of all believers (not intermediaries)
Religious Diversity in America John Calvin
Religious Diversity in America Gutenberg and the invention of printing press
Religious Diversity in America translating the Bible in vernacular languages
Religious Diversity in America Puritans (Idealistic Protestants)
Religious Diversity in America wanted to purify the Church of England of its “popish” qualities (hierarchies)
MAX WEBER The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (originally composed in 1904-5)
MAX WEBER Protestant ethic Spirit of capitalism capitalism
MAX WEBER The rational pursuit of economic gain and the profit motive (“spirit of capitalism”) emerged from a Protestant (Calvinist) ethic .
MAX WEBER The Protestant (Calvinist) ethic emphasizes worldly success through hard work, frugality, hard work, and being obedient to God.
MAX WEBER A person can be considered one of the “elect” or “chosen” by observing their way of life.
Protestant Christianity The Anglican Tradition
Protestant Christianity Methodist Tradition
Protestant Christianity Reform Tradition
Protestant Christianity Anabaptists (“to be baptized again”)
Questions What religious movements around the world would you classify as a sect or cult? Why?