Typologization of new religious movements on the basis of values and needs

Pronina T.S.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Leningrad state University Pushkin, Post / Appointment: researcher North-West of the center for religious and cultural studies, Business address: 10, street Petersburg highway Saint-Petersburg, Russia tania_pronina@mail.ru

Fedotov Yu.S.

Research Fellow of the Center for Religious Studies, Tambov State University named after G.R. Derzhavin, Tambov, Russia. fedotov.yur@mail.ru

Fedotova E.Yu.

Postgraduate student of Philosophy and Methodology of Science Department, Tambov State University named after G.R. Derzhavin, Tambov, Russia. kater-.-ina@mail.ru

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518080081
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Pronina T.S., Fedotov Yu.S., Fedotova E.Yu. Typologization of new religious movements on the basis of values and needs. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 1. P. 73-82


The study of new religious movements (NRMs) has not lost its relevance in the sociology of religion. New nontraditional religious groups from year to year are making increasingly significant contribution to the religious life of the world community. The scientific research of the NRM phenomenon is among priorities in science of religion. Systematization and transfer of knowledge on the subject is the main components of study of it. On this basis, the authors believe that significant importance has the procedure of typologyzation of NRMs. Construction and the practical use of typologies always aroused interest among researchers of new religious movements. It is believed that the popularity of the typological method in sociology reached its heyday in the 50–70s of the XXth century – during the boom of mass emergence of NRMs in Western Europe and the US. The authors of this paper suggest to colleagues’ attention the original theoretical construct taking into account the values and needs. The most multipurpose criterion for comparing multiple NRMs or their adepts is the principle of consumption as a civilizational sign of the information society. Well-known sociological concepts of A. Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” and P. Sorokin’s “cultural mentalities” have been used as a “building” material for the development of our systems. The authors have attempted to demonstrate with practice and abstract examples how it is possible to use a two-dimensional typology in applied aims. The constructed scheme can be useful in theoretical investigations. It is designed to better understand the reasons for which the potential or existing adepts seek membership in one or another NRM. In practical use, the typology allows to make a confessional portrait of a selected for the study region.

new religious movements (NRMs); information society; values and needs; typology

Babich N.S. (2008) Content analysis of the popularity of the typological method in western sociology of the XXth century. Sociologiya 4M: metodologiya, metody, matematicheskoe modelirovanie [Sociology 4M: methodology, methods, mathematical modeling]. No. 27: 30–47. (In Russ.)

Balagushkin E.G. (1996) The new religion as a social and cultural and ideological phenomenon. Obshhestvennye nauki I sovremennost’ [Social Sciences and Contemporary World]. No. 5: 90–100. (In Russ.)

Bell D. (2004) The coming post-industrial society. Experience of social forecasting. Moscow: Akademija. (In Russ.)

Bykov R.A. (2011) New religious movements through the prism of the P.A. Sorokin’s theory of cultural mentalities. Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Filosofija. Sociologija. Politologija [Tomsk State University Journal of Philosophy, Sociology and Political Science]. No. 1(13): 171–179. (In Russ.)

Kanterov I.Ja. (2008) The classification of religions and religious organizations typology – an actual problems of theoretical and practical science of religion. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Pronina T.S., Fedotov Yu.S. (2012) Non-traditional, new religious movements: regional experience of research. Tambov: “TGU im. G.R. Derzhavina”. (In Russ.)

Samygin S.I., Nechipurenko V.I., Polonskaja I.N. (1996) Sciense of reigion: sociology and psychology of religion. Rostov-on-Don: Feniks. (In Russ.)

Sorokin P.A. (2006) Social and Cultural Dynamics. Moscow: Astrel’. (In Russ.)

Fedotova E.Yu. (2014) Typology of new religious movements: the experience of the Tambov region. Vera I religija v sovremennoj Rossii. Vserossijskij konkurs molodyh uchjonyh: 25 luchshih issledovanij [Faith and religion in modern Russia. The All-Russian Competition for Young Scientists]. Moscow: “Avgust Borg”: 242–255. (In Russ.)

Fedotova E.Ju., Pronina T.S. (2016) Sociological aspect of religious identity. Filosofskie tradici I isovremennost’ [Philosophical traditions and the present]. No. 1(9): 123–134. (In Russ.)

Fedotov Yu.S., Fedotova E.Yu. (2016) The problem of the typology of new religious movements. Tambov: Izd-vo Pershina R.V. (In Russ.)

Beckford J. (1987) New Religions: An Overview. The Encyclopedia of Religion (ER). Ed. by Eliade M. New York: Macmillan. Vol. 10.

Beckford J. (1976) New Wine in New Bottles: A Departure from Church-Sect Conceptual Tradition. Social Compass. Vol. 23. No. 1: 71–85.

Heelas P., Woodhead L. (2005) The Spiritual Revolution. Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality. Oxford: Blackwell.

Puttick E.A. (1997) New Typology of Religion Based on Needs and Values. Journal of Beliefs & Values. Vol. 18: 133–145.

Wilson B.R. (1985) A typology of sects. Religion and ideology. Ed. by Bocock R., Thompson K. Manchester: Manchester University Press: 297–311.

William H., Swatos Jr. (eds) Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. URL: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/ency/ (accessed 30.11.2016).

Content No 1, 2018