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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

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s. Reply
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
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What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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I'm interested in nanotube
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Ramkumar Reply
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what is system testing?
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Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
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how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
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I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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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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