Sects and Sectarians

Sects and Sectarians

I. The Sociology of the Sect

A sect, as the Latin etymology suggests, consists of men who have cut themselves off from the main body of society. They have formed a restricted and closed group which rejects the norms of the inclusive society and proclaims its adherence to a special set of rules of conduct.

The religious sect, as distinct from the Church which contains within its fold both saints and sinners, consists of the visible community of pure saints; the political sect, as distinct from the political party which aims at encompassing a high proportion of the mass of electors, consists of specifically qualified members, “professional revolutionaries,” certified Marxists or Alte Kaempfer. The party is inclusive, the sect is exclusive. The Church and the party aim at attracting all men of good will, the sect aims at recruiting an elite of religiously or politically qualified “performers.”


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