1. Where religion gives meaning to deprivation and helps people cope with it.
  2. Both churches and sects see their interpretation of faith as the only correct one; both have a moral code to which members must adhere. Important differences are that sects are usually smaller; they have less ritual and hierarchy; churches are usually open to the whole community.
  3. Examples such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology, Quakers, Christadelphians, Plymouth Brethren, or other examples from the chapter.
  4. A cult where there is no formal membership; a person can be a part of the cult simply by going to a meeting or exhibition or reading a book.
  5. It reflects an emphasis on consumerism; it is strongest in the most developed parts of the world; it emphasises individualism.
  6. Because women are closer to birth and death; are concerned with the socialisation of the young; are controlled by the patriarchal nature of religion; have been less involved with other aspects of life, such as political and economic activity.
  7. Religion can provide support and a sense of community for new migrants.


Scientology: an example of an established sect. Here scientologists demonstrating Dianetics to members of the public at Union Station in Washington DC.