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Asses sociological explanations for the increasing number of religions & spiritual organisations and movements in society today.
Churches are the dominant religious organisation in society that seeks to include all social groups within the membership. They therefore have the most members which gives them the most influence. Churches support and reinforce society’s norms and values. This means that churches are more appealing to a wider number of people. Churches are uniquely legitimate. A church claims to have the answer to all questions and doesn’t accept answers that other religions provide. In churches members are generally not expected to be highly committed to be members. Therefore it takes less of a life change to be part of a church. However some sociologists would argue that a secularisation process has occurred and churches no longer have great influence. Even major religions such as Christianity no longer has any real influence as less people regularly attend places of worship.
New religious movements are always increasing. These movements have always existed but there was a big increase in the 20th century, especially since the 1960s. Although it can be difficult to classify these movements, there have been numerous attempts to classify them. With the number of new religious movements present in the 1970s, Wallis classified these movements into three types according to their relationships to the outside world. The first type which is world-rejecting new religious movements. Most movements of this type are not traditional and want a change in the world which seems to be evil or corrupt. The members have to obey strict rules and have to leave their social life behind them. Some of these movements are millenarian which means they believe in the second coming of Christ in which he will judge us. These movements attract mostly those people who are marginalized. An example of this type of movements is The Moonies. The second type is...
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