Any culture always has many tendencies and different groups which appear very frequently. Every culture has its traditions and trends that change with the time. Also, each culture usually has a lot of different subcultures. In this essay, the terms ‘cult’ and ‘sect’ are explained and two differences between them are analyzed.
The term ‘sect’ is used to define small religious group of people which is isolated from the civilization and other cultural varieties. The word ‘sect’ can be considered as a dangerous threat to the society. This kind of culture has its own practice and teaching, and they differ from those ones of established churches. The sects’ aim is to seduce as much people as they can and impose their religion. For the majority of people, the word ‘sect’ has a negative association.
There are many points of view about the meaning of the word ‘cult’, but I adhere to the theory which interprets the term ‘cult’ as the religious ancestor of worship. In other words, it is a worship of any subject or fantastic creature which, as the followers think, have a magic power. This culture is under control of a charismatic and dictatorial leader. There are many types of cults: cult of tribal God, funerary cult, the cult of animals, sun-cult, water cult, cult of sky, etc. The cults include many magic elements, such as the ritual actions and processions.
There are two main differences between these religion movements. I consider that cults look like some initial form of a new religion and sects depict the initial form of the church. The society has the great influence on these two opposite concepts. Surely, both of these concepts are trying to entice more and more followers. Neither sects nor cults appear in its final form. It means that sects and cults represent themselves as dynamic groups, but under the influence of different social factors cult can be easily changed into a sect and vice versa. As it was said earlier, the word ‘sect’ has always been perceived negatively by people and it is not for nothing. Sects have brought a lot of disasters to the humanity, as they always try to influence the moral state of the sect’s followers. Such people are disposed to suicide and they are noticed to have pathological behavior. The leader of the sect has a strong power over the followers and he can make them do what he or she wants. In contrast to the sect, cult is not so harmful to the society. Cults do not influence their followers’ psychology as much and the leaders do not usually try to manipulate or suppress people. As a result, people react to the cults not so aggressively.
In conclusion, both sects and cults are extremely dangerous to the humanity. We should keep a wary eye on them as the consequences can be unpredictable.
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