Seventh-day Adventists trace their roots to the Millerite Movement during the early 1840s, which attracted upwards of 50,000 followers in the American Northeast. When the prediction of Baptist lay-preacher, William Miller [1782-1849], that Christ would return on October 22, 1844 proved false, his movement shattered. One fragment, whose leaders included a young visionary, Ellen White…… Continue reading ‘Seventh-day Adventism’ in the Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion
Sociologists have typically defined “sect” and “church” or “denomination”, the polar opposites of church-sect theory, in terms of multiple characteristics. Stark and Bainbridge, noting that competing lists of characteristics have caused confusion and that the use of several characteristics has limited the ability to measure transition from sect to denomination, proposed focusing instead on a single dimension, the religious group’s tension with society. This paper tests the usefulness of this reformulation by exploring one such source of tension: holding a deviant position on military service when a state imposes conscription. Since part of the process of reducing tension between sect and state is accommodation by one or both parties, the paper also examines relations between a religious group and governments in a conflict situation, and the process of accommodation – or failure to come to terms – between them.