Characteristics of churches, denominations, cults and sects

Mind Map by amy.wade16, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by amy.wade16 about 4 years ago


A-Level Sociology (Beliefs in society) Mind Map on Characteristics of churches, denominations, cults and sects, created by amy.wade16 on 01/21/2016.

Resource summary

Characteristics of churches, denominations, cults and sects
1 Scope
1.1 CHURCHES: National (or international), very large membership; inclusive
1.2 DENOMONIATIONS: National (or international), large membership; inclusive
1.3 SECTS: Local or national. Tend to start small but can grow extremely large
1.4 CULTS: Local, national or international, varies in size; inclusive
2 Internal organisation
2.1 CHURCHES: Hierarchical; bureaucratic
2.2 DENOMINARIONS: Formal bureaucratic
2.3 SECTS: Voluntary, tight-knit, informal
2.4 CULTS: Voluntary; loose structure
3 Nature of leadership
3.1 CHURCHES: Professional clergy with paid officials
3.2 DENOMINATIONS: Professional clergy; uses lay preachers
3.3 SECTS: No professional clergy, often have a charismatic leader
3.4 CULTS: Individualistic, may be based on a common interest or provision of service; inspirational leader
4 `life span
4.1 CHURCHES: Over centuries
4.2 DENOMINATIONS: Often more than 100 years
4.3 SECTS: Sometimes more than a generation; may evolve into a denominations e.g. Mormons
4.4 CULTS: Often short-lived and dies with the leadership
5 Attitude to wider society
5.1 CHURCHES: Recognises the state and accepts society's norms and values
5.2 DENOMINATIONS: Generally accepts but not part of formal structure
5.3 SECTS: Critical of mainstream society; often reclusive with own norms and values
5.4 CULTS: May be critical or accepting of society, but has a unique approach that offers more
6 Claims to truth
6.1 CHURCHES: Monopoly view of the truth; strong use of ritual with little arousal of strong emotional response
6.2 DENOMINATIONS: No monopoly of truth; less ritual but clear emphasis on emotional fervour
6.3 CULTS: Monopoly of the truth, aim to re-establish fundamental views
6.4 SECTS: No monopoly of the truth
7 Type of membership
7.1 CHURCHES: Little formal commitment required, often by birth
7.2 DENOMINATIONS; Stronger commitment and rules e.g. teetotalism or non-gambling
7.3 CULTS: Exceptional commitment
7.4 SECTS: Membership flexible
8 Examples
8.1 CHURCHES: Anglicanism, Roman, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism
8.2 DENOMINATIONS: Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostalists
8.3 CULTS: Mormons, Jehovahs witnesses, Moonies, Branch Davidian, Salvation army
8.4 SECTS: Scientology, Spiritualism, Transcedenal meditation, New age idea
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