A religious organization with new beliefs and practices is known as a cult movement. Almost all religions start out as cults or sects. These groups face conflict and tension from the society. Later on, they either die out completely or recruit new members and become established and more mainstream in the society. Cults have two means of appearance in society; Innovation and Importation. When a person starts a new cult because of some revelation it is called as Innovation. Whereas importation take places when a well-established group from one society is brought into another society.
When missionaries brought Catholicism to a new society which had not experienced it before, it was treated as a cult in that society. Cults or sects are triggered when people want their spiritual, emotional or social needs fulfilled. The need might be to become closer to god or make a change in this world. Nonetheless, people who join are often unhappy and insecure in their current situation. A tragedy in their family could also stir interest in a cult. It is a way to find back love, acceptance, a sense of belonging and purpose.
Not all cults initiate by themselves. Most of them evolve as a part of another religion. If a certain group following the same religion has an opposing view they branch off into another cult. Many primitive cultures have undergone domination and invasion by western culture. This led to newer ideas emerging and the initiation of the revitalistic movement. According to anthropologist Anthony Wallace, all societies, cultures and religions follow the cycle of decline, revitalization and stabilization
There are four models to cult formation and origin. In the Psychopathological Model, severe stress in the founder’s life brings about a religion. The religion becomes therapeutic to their existence. A good example is of Psychopathological Model is Ann Lee. She lost 4 children in infancy and felt powerless and weak. Under her leadership the cult of shaking Quakers was born. In the Entrepreneurial Model founders behave like entrepreneurs. They develop a new religion and sell it to others. Those who like it convert to the entrepreneur’s religion.
While the Social Model, emphasizes the early religious group rather than the founder of the religion. They use social implosions for finding religions. Members spend most of their time with people in the religious cult rather than with people outside this cult. Lastly, in the Normal Revelations Model the founder infers ordinary natural experience as a supernatural phenomenon. He uses his or her own creativity in inventing the religion as the word of god. Usually one model or another describes some religions best but all models apply to all religions at different degrees.
Works Cited · “Origins of Cults/Sects”. Sociology Stuff. (n. d). 16 August 2007. http://www. rouncefield. homestead. com/files/a_soc_rel_12. htm · Hadden, Jeffrey K. “New Religious Movements Lectures”. The Religious Movements Homepage Project @ the University of Virginia. 15 August 1997. 16 August 2007. <http://religiousmovements. lib. virginia. edu/lectures/cultform. html> · “Cult. ” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 Aug 2007, 20:23 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 16 Aug 2007 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cult&oldid=151241817Sample Essay of Essayontime.com