Sects

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Sects. Groups, usually religious, which are set up with their own organization in distinction from, and often in protest against, established religions. Sects featured in Troeltsch's Church-Sect typology. Sects are characterized by: depending on volunteers (to be born into a sect indicates that it is on the way to stability); charismatic authority; strict discipline with clear rules of conduct; sense of élite privilege (of being the only ones in a true, or enlightened, or saved state); restriction on individuality. In addition, R. Wallis (Salvation and Protest, 1979) suggested that sects are either world-affirming (seeing power, value, etc., emerging from within the universe) or world-denying (seeing the world as evil and requiring rescue by God).

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sects. See dissent.