Ronald Lawson For PDF click here: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Polygamous Converts A paper presented at the meeting of The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Albuquerque, N.M., November 1994 Polygamy has been the most complex, perplexing and persistent marriage-related problem encountered by churches in their missionary enterprise. The most intense and resistant…… Continue reading CHURCH-SPONSORED INJUSTICE: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Polygamous Converts
Ronald Lawson For PDF click here: PRO-WHAT Seventh-day Adventists and Abortion Presented at the Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Raleigh, NC, October 1993 The Issue The Seventh-day Adventist Church is conservative in its interpretation of the Bible, and typically upholds conservative standards on “family” issues: it has, for example, adopted…… Continue reading PRO-WHAT? Seventh-day Adventists and Abortion.
Ronald Lawson For PDF Click Here: Sectarian Groups and Social Issues: Broadening Church-Sect Theory A paper presented at the meeting of the Religious Research Association, Columbus, Ohio, October 2001 Introduction: the Evolution of Church-Sect Theory Church-sect theory, which was originally put forward by Ernst Troeltsch in 1911 and amplified by H. Richard Niebuhr in 1929, has…… Continue reading Sectarian Groups and Social Issues: Broadening Church-Sect Theory
For PDF Click Here: Church and State at Home and Abroad: The Evolution of Seventh-day Adventist Relations with Governments. Ronald Lawson The SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST Church is known in the U.S. for its defense of the First Amendment and its espousal of religious liberty. Its Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) lobbies for or…… Continue reading Church and State at Home and Abroad: The Evolution of Seventh-day Adventist Relations with Governments*
Divisions going their own way on ordination of women would not set a precedent. By Ronald Lawson Ronald W. Lawson, Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College, City University of New York, who has published widely on Seventh-day Adventists in sociology journals, is writing a book-length, cross-cultural study of Adventists. He was voted College Teacher…… Continue reading Why No to Women but Yes to Killing?
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.
The U.S. has received an influx of “new immigrants,” drawn from many parts of the developing world, since 1968. These have, in turn, altered the demographics of congregations and denominations. Of all the denominations operating in metropolitan New York, Seventh-day Adventism has been impacted most dramatically by the changes. Its face has been transformed as it has shifted from a church of primarily Caucasians and Afro-Americans, each dominating separate conferences, to one that is now 90% new immigrant. This paper explores the tensions that emerged, as a result of the changed racial/ethnic balance, in the competition to control leadership positions and resources, initially in local congregations and later in the conferences, and the dynamics as these tensions have played out. Finally, it considers why such conflict has been especially strong within Adventism.