Modern Religious Cults and Movements

By Gaius Glenn Atkins | Go to book overview

XI
MINOR CULTS: THE MEANING OF THE CULTS FOR THE CHURCH

Border-land Cults

THE cults which we have so far considered are the outstanding forms of modern free religious movements, but they do not begin to exhaust the subject matter. Even the outstanding cults have their own border-lands. New Thought is particularly rich in variants and there are in all American cities sporadic, distantly related and always shifting movements--groups which gather about this or that leader, maintain themselves for a little and then dissolve, to be recreated around other centers with perhaps a change of personnel. The Masonic Temple in Chicago is said to be occupied on Sundays all day long by larger or smaller groups which may be societies for ethical culture or with some social program or other, or for the study of Oriental religions. One would need to attend them all and saturate himself far more deeply than is possible for any single investigator in their creeds or their contentions to appraise them justly. Their real significance is neither in their organization, for they have little organization, nor in their creed, but in their temper. They represent reaction, restlessness and the spiritual confusion of the time. They can be explained--in part at least--in terms of that social deracination to

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