Although Adventism experienced an astonishing rate of upward mobility in the New Guinea Highlands, especially the Southern Highlands, during this period, much of the rest of PNG Adventism, especially in the villages, remained poor in income, lifestyle, and level of education. When these saw the difference between their goods and those of the missionaries and…… Continue reading A Changing Church: Adventism in Papua New Guinea in the 1980s and 1990s
Seventh-day Adventists have never had the numbers in their home base – the USA – to have electoral influence. Because of the mind-set created by this situation and their expectation that before the return of Christ, which they expect “soon”, they will face persecution, they have typically been subservient to governments everywhere, arguing that they…… Continue reading From Political Subservience to Political Power and Influence: Seventh-day Adventists in Papua-New Guinea
This piece considers the ways in which the terms ‘cult’, ‘sect’ and ‘denomination’ are used in everyday language, within Christian circles and in sociology, and tests the applicability of these senses of the terms to Seventh-day Adventism. Presentation developed for a service of the Metro New York Adventist Forum Click here for a PDF version…… Continue reading Adventists: Cult, Sect or Denomination?
Seventh-day Adventists have been involved in a number of landmark court cases bearing on both the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and on statutory law. The main issues have included security of employment for Sabbath observers, the right of persons dismissed from their jobs for reasons of…… Continue reading Seventh-day Adventists and the U.S. Courts: Road Signs Along the Route of a Denominationalizing Sect
Those who developed what we call Church-Sect theory (Troeltsch, Niebuhr, Yinger, Johnson, Wilson, and Stark and Bainbridge) thought of it as laying out a uni-directional trajectory from sect towards (in the USA) denomination for groups that survive and prosper. However, in 1994, in his The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation, Armand…… Continue reading Uni-Directional or Bi-Directional?: Sect-Denomination Theory and the Case of Seventh-day Adventism
Seventh-day Adventism emerged from the Millerite Movement, which had preached throughout the American Northeast that Christ would return in 1844, after the parent movement fragmented following the “Great Disappointment”. The new group was marked by considerable tension with its surrounding culture during its early decades, and was therefore, in terms of the definition promulgated by…… Continue reading From Sect Towards Denomination: Tracing the Trajectory of Seventh-day Adventism in the USA over Time
Ryan T. Cragun – University of Tampa and Ronald Lawson – Queens College, CUNY A question that continues to draw research in the sociology of religion is what factors spur the growth of religions (Kelley 1972; Iannaccone 1994; Bruce 2002; Hoge and Roozen 1979; Stark and Finke 2000). In line with with these previous studies,…… Continue reading The Secular Transition: The Worldwide Growth of Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh-day Adventists