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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:11 AM

 

What's the proper term for a subdivision of a non-Christian macroreligion?

I use sect instead of denomination when I don't want to speak just of Christian religions, but I've heard that sect has the connotation of being insular and reactionary.

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Reply What's the proper term for a subdivision of a non-Christian macroreligion? (Original post)
leftlibdem420 Nov 2012 OP
ZombieHorde Nov 2012 #1
Humanist_Activist Nov 2012 #4
Neaira Nov 2012 #2
Trajan Nov 2012 #3
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #5

Response to leftlibdem420 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:23 AM

1. In my sociology of religions class, we used the term "sect."

We also used the word "cult" to describe non-dangerous religions.

eta: We did not call all non-dangerous religions cults, we just called some religions cults that many people would consider cults, because we used a very specific definition.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:10 AM

4. I believe the term "cult" used to imply size, rather than nature, of a religion or subsect of...

religion, for example, the Cult of Isis. It wasn't until about the 1960s to 1970s that the term cult started carrying a negative connotation in regards to sects that were self destructive and/or lead by a single, charismatic, individual.

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Response to leftlibdem420 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:27 AM

2. It Depends...

It depends on the "non-Christian macroreligion" under discussion.

In Judaism, it's mostly "movements." To greatly simplify (and to leave out some important ones because they're confusing to non-Jews): Orthodox, or Conservative, or Reconstructionist, or Reform (which are the ones best known among Western peoples who are not themselves Jewish).

In the dharmic religions (such as Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) there are different designations for not only for what you're talking about here, but for other elements equally important and meaningful to people who identify with some group which falls under the general "dharmic" umbrella term, or who deal with situations where the recognized distinctions are important to understand what the conversation is about (Foreign Service officers, for example).

I know there is a term for the different Muslim sub-groups, but I don't know what it is.

And I'm pretty sure that people who identify as pagan, or animist, also have their own terms which carry important levels of information within particular macro groups.

There isn't "a" proper term, there is--depending on the macroreligion--a blooming bouquet of terms!

What specific "non-Christian macroreligion" do you have in mind?

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Response to leftlibdem420 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:31 AM

3. Sect ....

Gibbon refers to 'sectaries' when he mentioned warring religious factions during the Roman Empire, like the Nestorians, the Trinitarians, the Arians, etc ....

And ... I suppose 'faction' would apply as well ....

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Response to leftlibdem420 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:34 PM

5. In Wicca and many other pagan, earth based religions we call them "Traditions"

Example: You have Wicca and under that umbrella you have groups like the Gardnerian Tradition, the Alexandrian tradition, the Dianic Tradition, etc.

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