Genealogical and historical classifications of the new Religious movements
Source document: Religio. 2003, vol. 11, iss. 2, pp. -285
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
The article deals with the problem of application of historical typologies and classifications on phenomena of new religious movements. In the first part the author turns to the problem of "old" and "new" differentiation in a circumscription of new religious movements. He indicates that the using of these two notions is often rather an aspect of self-identification and self-legitimization than a scientific typology. In the second part, the author discusses the problem of an application of a monothetic classification on religious phenomena. The author shows, with reference to Jonathan Z. Smith, that the using of the monothetic classification in context of religion is very objectionable. First of all because of the category "uniqueness" sine qua non the religion would not be religion but rather an instance of something else. The author supposes that the using of category "uniqueness" led us to essentialism. This point of view is rather theological one. There is emphasized the impropriety of application of categories like "uniqueness" and "essence" on new religious movements. The article also shows that the historical and the genealogical typologies are examples of that monothetic essentialism.