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Religion in Secular SocietyFifty Years On$
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Bryan R. Wilson and Steve Bruce

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198788379.001.0001

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Emerging Denominations and Persisting Sects

Emerging Denominations and Persisting Sects

Chapter:
(p.185) 12 Emerging Denominations and Persisting Sects
Source:
Religion in Secular Society
Author(s):

Bryan R. Wilson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198788379.003.0013

H. Richard Niebuhr sketched and explained a common pattern of evolution from sect to denomination. Wilson accepts much of Niebuhr’s argument but rejects the claim that sects generally last only one generation and offers examples of sect persistence. He also discusses the other source of denominationalism: the church type of religion being forced to scale down its claims to a unique and authoritative revelation as it comes to terms with religious pluralism and the growth of unbelief.

Keywords:   sect to denomination evolution, sect persistence, H. Richard Niebuhr

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