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

Pronina T.S.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Researcher, Сenter for Religious and Ethnopolitical Studies, Pushkin Leningrad State University, St. 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
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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


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