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Typologies in Religious Organisations

In: Social Issues

Submitted By gugeli96
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Assess the usefulness of typologies in our understanding of religious organisations (33 marks)

Religions are based upon very heterogenic principles and are structured in different ways, making them different of each other and therefore proving that they are not universal as some sociologists argue. Typologies within religious organisations have helped as to define religions and prove that they are based on religious pluralism and that they can be era-dependent, or in other ways can become outdated.

Troeltsch was the first sociologist to divide religions into three different typologies; churches, sects and denominations, with very different characteristics and objectives. Troeltsch proved that some aspects of religions can be very different, like the background of members, the relationship to society or the tolerance towards other faiths and based upon this principles he divided each religion into one of his tree basic typologies. Troeltsch defines churches as large organisations with a universal appeal and defines Christianity and Islam as universalistic and as the main churches with a very close relationship with the state. Churches can have as mentioned a very close relationship with the state and the government, such as the Church of England, which has `monopolised´ the demands of the British society by becoming the predominant religion in the country. The Church of England has a very close relationship with the government, but also with the monarchy and therefore `jealously guards the monopoly of the truth´ as also does many other churches worldwide. Churches usually have a very structured hierarchy and place practically no demands on their members, which are mainly part of upper social classes or bourgeoisie. However as Bruce argues, nowadays religious pluralism is predominant in our societies and makes is very difficult for `The Church´ to have a very...

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