Cult or religion

A political cult is a cult with a primary interest in political action and ideology. In their book On the Edge: The word cult is not a term of abuse, as this paper tries to explain.

Cult or religion

Experiments Question What's the difference between a religion and a cult? Today, we speak to theologians and psychologists about worship, fanaticism and blurred lines. Maggie Craig cult, n. A particular form or system of religious worship or veneration, esp.

Cult or religion

A relatively small group of Cult or religion having esp. The Oxford English Dictionary The rise of interest in cults in the s and s cemented them in the American consciousness. So what is the actual difference between a cult and a religion?

Can a cult grown into a religion and can a religion birth a cult? We reached out to psychologists, theologians and spiritual leaders to get a clear sense on where the line is between what we call a religion and what we call a cult, and where this line sometimes blurs. Like Classic Coke and Diet Coke, both religions and cults look alike even if they taste different.

A religion belongs to the wider culture; its adherents come and go freely. A cult tends to be counter-cultural, restricting the social life of its adherents to other cult members. The key characteristic of a cult is the axis mundi, the shamanic leader at the center of the organization.

The cult leader claims exclusive access to transcendent reality, and dispenses power and grace as he or she sees fit. It is not theology that distinguishes a cult from a religion; in fact, cults may appear within a religion, for example, the Branch Davidians or Jim Jones' Peoples Church were both cults within Christianity.

The most interesting cult operative today, in my opinion, is the UFO cult oriented around its leader, Rael Claude Vorilhonwho connects his 60, adherents to extraterrestrial wisdom and power. I suspect that each of the higher religions underwent some cult-like stages at their beginning.

When a cult grows too large for the leader to control or when the leader dies, spontaneous leadership democratizes the belief system and a religion can begin to spread. Note that the distinguishing characteristics have to do with leadership more than with theological content of the belief system.

In the s, the word "cult" became quite pejorative due to anti-cult organizations. Scholars such as myself tended to substitute the term "new religious movements" or NRMs so as to ascribe a level of legitimacy to otherwise innocent experiments with religion.

Even so, when a NRM exhibits a tight organization around an authoritarian leader, I get worried. This almost always leads to violence. If the word "cult" connotes the potential for violence, I suggest we simply exercise care in using the term rather than dispense with it entirely.


Cult Stats There are over 4, cults in the US, with approximately 4 million members. They fall into 4 basic types:Difference Between Religion and Cult. One short definition of the difference between a religion and cult: A religion is an old cult.

A cult is a new religious movement. A religion is a formal organised body who generally meet various criteria such as: Belief in some kind of supreme being or principle.

The Mormon Cult: The Truth about Mormons and Christianity. I had been a "true-blue" Mormon for over thirty years before I found the absolute proof that the Mormon Church is a cult.

Cult or religion

Feb 19,  · the definition of religion is simply the continuous. for example you get up everyday and brush your teeth religiously. religion is the practice not the beleif or faith. A cult has negativity invovled like telling you that you need to ohurt yourself or others.

Question: "What is the best way to evangelize someone who is in a cult or false religion?" Answer: The most important thing we can do for those involved in cults or false religions is pray for them. We need to pray that God would change their hearts and open their eyes to the truth (2 Corinthians ).

The Cult of Othin: An Essay in the Ancient Religion of the North [H. M. Chadwick] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Originally published in , this concise book provides a series of essays on the Ancient Germanic cult of Woden.

Other psychedelic substances

The text focuses on the characteristics and rites associated with the cult. Cult or religion: What's the difference? The Church of Scientology is doing its utmost to be recognised in the UK as a bone fide religion.

It has launched a TV advertising campaign, set up a month-long exhibition, and is pasting up posters in London's underground at a great rate of knots.

Cult or religion? | Yahoo Answers