World Rejecting New Religious Movements

The World Rejecting New Religious Movement (NRM) is one of Roy Wallis’ three types of New Religious Movement. As the name suggests, their orientation to wider society is one of rejecting most of what that society stands for.

Wallis’ World Rejecting NRMs are closely related to Troeltsch’s category of the sect.

Examples of World Rejecting NRMs…

  • The People’s Temple
  • The Manson Family
  • Krishna Consciousness

Krishna Consciousness

Key features of World Rejecting New Religious Movements 

  • Their religious ideology tends to be highly critical of mainstream society (and possible mainstream religions within that society).
  • World Rejecting Movements typically demand high levels of commitment from members. They often expect members to withdraw from mainstream society and devote much of their lives to the movement. Some of them may act as ‘total institutions’, controlling every aspects of members’ lives.
  • While regular members’ lives are tightly controlled, those higher up the hierarchy will typically have more ties and more interactions with the outside world.
  • Seeking radical individual transformation or even radical social change is often the main goal of World Rejecting NRMs.
  • They tend to have been founded by a charismatic leader, and membership tends to demand loyalty to that leader.
  • World Rejecting NRMs vary size: from small, ‘one location’ organisations such as The People’s Temple to global NRMs such as the Moonies.
  • Many NRMs have conservative religious beliefs, especially where sex and marriage are concerned.
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