Features of the process of change in a religious organization
Major, R. G. (1973). Features of the process of change in a religious organization (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10158
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10158
The historian and socio1ogist, Ernest Troeltsch stated in the conclusion to his major work The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches (1912) that: The Ethos of the Gospel… is an ideal which requires a new world if it is to be fully realized… (it is) an ideal which cannot be realized within this world apart from compromise. Therefore the history of the Christian Ethos becomes the story of a constantly renewed search for this compromise. Troeltsch endeavoured through an historical survey to identify the mode of accommodation to the social and cultural environment found necessary by a variety of religious movements. His categorization of 'Church', 'Sect' and 'Mysticism' was based on the response of their members' behaviour to the ‘world' as they perceived it, and the teaching of their religious leaders. Troeltsch identified the 'Church' as that type of organisation that compromised with the 'world' by affirming many of the social and cultural values in which it was encapsulated and by endeavouring to come to terms with these values. The 'sect', by contrast rejected both the world and compromise with it. It was hostile, but its existence and the values subscribed to by its members were largely dependent upon a symbiotic relation to that environment and it used its encapsulation to sustain its discrete identity. 'Mysticism', relied on an individual's religious spontaneity that was concerned with neither the encapsulating environment nor the symbiotic relation of' an organisation and its membership to the ‘world'. The Mystics’ concern was the inner world of man.
University of Waikato
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