World accommodating nrm
In contrast to movements in earlier eras, contemporary NRMs are much more likely to make conscious decisions about whether to define and present themselves as religious and whether to seek administrative/legal legitimation as religious bodies.
Nevertheless, Wallis argues that this does not really contradict Weber’s view, because many of these individuals had become marginal to society.
20th‑century sects may be a response to anxieties created by the dominance of scientific rationalism and the resulting secularisation of society.
Robert Bellah argues that the increase in sect and cult membership seen in the late 1960s in the USA was due to middle‑class youth experiencing a ‘crisis of meaning’ in regard to the materialistic values of their parent’s culture.
Sects based on anti‑materialist and ‘free love’ values such as The Jesus People and the Children of God, and Eastern‑influenced NRMs such as the Hare Krishna and the Moonies, recruited in large numbers from young people in search of spiritual or psychic goals.
suggest that world-affirming NRMs and NAMs appeal to more affluent, university-educated, socially integrated and generally successful middle class groups, whose members nonetheless find something missing in their lives.The are a range of explanations for why people are attracted to NRMs and NAMs: Sects may be evidence of disillusion with institutionalised religion and may result from a search for more genuine ways of satisfying spiritual needs. For example, if a group believes that they are ‘God’s chosen people’, the promise of ‘salvation’ is ‘compensation’ for their poverty.