Cultural Significance of NRMs. Our Skewed Perspective NRMs are intrinsically interesting ACM turned them into a social problem Are they smaller representations of what is happening to religion as a whole? Secularization theory presents religion as reactive: pre-modern, if not anti-modern.
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Our Skewed Perspective
NRMs are intrinsically interesting
ACM turned them into a social problem
Are they smaller representations of what is happening to religion as a whole?
Secularization theory presents religion as reactive: pre-modern, if not anti-modern.
People turn to religions to provide meaning and structure, to construct a nomos.
People who turn to NRMs have a greater desire to live in a coherent meaningful world.
Religious life has become increasingly subjective, about individual expression.
Options for religions:
Accommodate to modernity
Entrench against modernity
A New Religious Consciousness that is not a reaction to modernity…
Two kinds of NRMs:
Totalistic (exclusive commitment): Moonies;
Open (but not just “audience cults”)
If people have profound personal experiences in a religious setting; they will call them religious experiences.
These people cohere with others who affirm, expect, appreciate, and promote such charismatic religious experiences
New religious consciousness more compatible with findings of science and social sciences, and with the new social order.
Individualistic nature is flexible, compatible with hectic lifestyles.
Science is not purely material.Significance of a New Religious Consciousness
The Surprising Similarities of “Anti-Modern” and “Modern” NRMs
Pentecostals compared to New Age Movement
Experience sacred power in everyday lives
Create new structures of social cohesion (trans-national, -ethnic)
Arrival of new age
Anti-institutional; decentralized.Modernism and the NRMs
Retention of cultural continuity,
Tension with culture
Legitimate leaders (justified; owned)
A Volunteer force
Local Competition is weak
Maintain strong internal attachments
Maintain medium levels of tension with society
Socialize the young