Sociology of Religious Movements

Religious movements are groups of religion that have defected from the original denomination and have impacted so much onto the existing denominations. They have established many Christian groups which have led to their dominance in the religion hence posing a threat to the existing denomination.

The rise of New Religious Movements

They have been on the rise in the recent past as they operate with considerable vitality and are esoteric, people are also searching for meaning when they are feeling lost in periods of cultural change. There has been a feeling of that, in them, there is an answer for the thirst of the scripture, singing, and dancing. They seem to offer fast and immediate solutions to the vital and disturbing problems of the people which other established denominations have seemed not to offer. They can exploit weak patrol points and supply very forceful leaders in a short time as they train in short times unlike other established denominations which train their leaders for long durations, they bring infectious dynamism and remarkable commitment to their doctrine as addressed by John Paul II to Mexican bishops (6 May 1990).

Where parishes are large they install small religious communities in which everyone feels known, appreciated, and loved as they assign roles to everyone, in cases where liturgy is celebrated in an unlively manner they celebrate services accompanied by shouts such as alleluia, choruses, and dances, they can provide religious groups which are locally rooted. They urge personal commitment to Jesus and strict adherence to the teachings of the Bible as they encourage personal relationship and not a bureaucracy of institution as their leaders are available to every person, they set objectives and goals to be attained in their missionary drive,

Gender issues in contemporary religiosity

Many religions have segregated women in their ordinations and the society is fighting for gender equality and a relatively greater status for women, it has been seen that the previous generation had denied women the chance to be leaders hence restricting leadership to their male counterparts.

The types of violence and conflict associated with modern religions

Religions that have erupted in the recent past have caused tremendous breakages in other outstanding denominations/churches by pulling their believers from the communion whom they have attained through acts like baptism, they are active in forming man-made religious communities rather than the one formed and instituted by the son of God as they disregard articles used in other churches (Foster 57-107). They have led some Christians to abandon their faith through their activities as they put themselves instead of God at the center of worship. a couple of them use methods that violate the rights of other believers to religious freedom as they say things that are not true of their counterparts/others.

They have harmed individuals psychologically through their ways of recruitment and violent methods they employ to prevent their members from leaving to retain them if their movement is thought to plunge the religion into difficulties (McGuire 139-155). They focus on traditional Catholic teaching to pull many of its believers as it can instead of launching their missionary effort, most of them have introduced beliefs and practices from non-western to western society (Foster 57-107). They have created problems in the government instead of uniting it by their social posture as they do not teach their members to be concerned citizens. They have led to laziness in society as everyone who has established his/her religion depends on it for his/her financial satisfaction as they can make money inform for offerings and have transformed it to be seen as a source of financial income.

Ways in which religions have contributed to non-violence and peace-building

Religions have been able to contribute towards non-violence and peacebuilding as they are organized at the national and international levels and they can offer effective channels of communication (Wuthnow 18-97). They are also able to offer ethical visions that motivate believers to act more responsibly. Religions mostly are the organizations that are credited and trusted in the event of dismay and are always present in the event of a conflict. Religions have been in the first line to reach for understanding in event of misunderstandings and have called on their believers to be non-violent (McGuire 139-155).

They have also preached for reconciliation to their members. Religions in their effort to conquer violence and build peace have issued guidelines to their believers in relating with each other. They have also instituted social orders and preached for equality to their believers. The religion has offered guidance and counseled those who have been affected by any form of violence (Wuthnow 18-97). Religions have been at the forefront to condemn any kind of social and political violence and have offered solutions to issues that would lead to violence and have also assisted those affected by any form of violence to return to their normal lives, they have also preached forgiveness amongst their believers.

Work cited

McGuire, Meredith B. “Health and Healing in New Religious Movements.” David G. Bromley and Jeffrey K. Hadden, eds., Religion and the Social Order: The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America, Volume 3 (Part B). Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1993: 139-155.

Foster, Lawrence. “Cults in Conflict: New Religious Movements and the Mainstream Religious Tradition in America.” Robert N. Bellah and Frederick E. Greenspahn eds., Uncivil Religion: Interreligious Hostility. New York: Crossroad, 1987. Pg 57-107.

Wuthnow, Robert. “Religious Movements and Counter-Movements in North America” James A. Beckford, ed., Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change. Beverly Hills, California: Sage, 1986. Pg 18-97.

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