A Reappraisal of Typologies of New Religious Movements and Characteristics of the Unification Church

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 2, 1998 - Pages 71-94

If we want to have an enlightened discussion on the Unification Church (UC) or any new Religious Movement (NRM),[1] we must acquire a clear under­standing of typological concepts and terms. Sometimes scholarly discussion of NRMs suffers from typological ambiguity and confusion (e.g., various concepts of cults). Misunderstand­ing of the UC has been made worse by ignorance of typological terms and concepts, which are intellectual tools to distinguish and to articulate the characteristics of religious groups from a comparative perspective. I am convinced that clarifying typological conceptuali­zations and categories is a prerequisite to an enlightened discussion of the UC or of any religious group.

In this paper, we will review and reappraise contemporary typologies of NRMs presented by the following scholars: 1) Robert Ellwood, 2) David Aberle, 3) Charles Glock and Robert Bellah, 4) Dick Anthony, 5) Frederick Bird, 6) Barbara Hargrove, 7) Frances Westley, and 8) John Lofland and James Richardson. In introducing each typology, we will examine how scholars identified, or would have identified, the UC in applying each typology. As a Unificationist, I am ever desirous of criticizing some scholars’ erroneous characterizations of the UC and appreciating other scholars’ helpful identifications. It is important for Unificationists to be aware how the church is characterized in scholarly works and to offer articulate critiques of misleading analyses.[2]


1. Ellwood's Typology

In Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America, historian of religion Robert S. Ellwood introduced many NRMs in America by organizing them into six categories primarily on the basis of their historical origins.[3] The following are his six categories, his elegant phrases to sum up each category, and the religious and spiritual groups Ellwood classified in each category:

1) Groups in the Theosophical and Rosicrucian Traditions: "New Vessels for the Ancient Wisdom"

The Theosophical Society in America, The Full Moon Meditation Groups, Anthroposophy, Rosicrucianism, Modern Gnosticism, The "I Am" Movement, The Liberal Catholic Church


2) Spiritualism and UFO Cults: "The Descent of the Mighty Ones"

The Spiritualist Church, Giant Rock Space Convention, Understanding, Inc., Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America, The Aetherius Society


3) Initiatory Groups: "The Crystal Within"

Gurdjieff Groups, The Prosperos, Scientology, Abilitism, Builders of the Adytum, The Church of Light


4) Neo-Paganism: "The Edenic Bower"

Feraferia, Church of All Worlds, Ceremonial Magic and Witchcraft, Satanism


5) Hindu Movements in America: "The Ganges Flows West"

The Ramakrishna Mission and Vedanta Societies, The Self-Realization Fellowship, The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation Movement, International Sivananda Yoga Society, The International Society for Krishna Consciousness


6) Other Oriental Movements: "The East in the Golden West"

Western Zen, Esoteric Buddhism in America, Nichiren Shoshu of America, The Baha'i Faith, The Lovers of Meher Baba, Subud, The Unified Family


Ellwood classified the American UC in the 1960s, which its members used to call "The Unified Family," as one of the Other Oriental Movements.[4] He also described it as one of the rare non-Western Christian cults in America.[5]

In his Introduction to an annotated bibliography entitled New Religious Move­ments in the United States and Canada, Ellwood revised his earlier classificatory scheme and presented nine categories to classify the NRMs.[6] Based largely on the historical and geographical origins of the NRMs, the nine are as follows:

1) Theosophical, Rosicrucian, Gnostic

2) New Thought

3) Spiritualist/UFO Groups

4) Occult/Initiatory Groups

5) Neo-Paganism and Its Allies

6) Eastern Religions I: From India

7) Eastern Religions II: From East Asia

8) Eastern Religions III: From Islamic Countries

9) Christian Movements


It is noteworthy that Ellwood classified the UC as among the Christian Movements. When we consider the UC's historical origin and theological tenets, it is certainly fair to classify the UC as a group belonging to a Christian family.

Ellwood's nine categories for classifying the NRMs make his scheme less reductionistic than many of the sociological typologies of NRMs that employ a very small number of categories—frequently two or three.[7] This is, however, a typology for those who are interested in the location of the historical hometown of the NRMs from the East. On the basis of their historical origins, eastern religions are divided into those stemming from India, from East Asia, and from Islamic countries. Sociologists of religion who are inter­ested in understanding a NRM's social role in its current host society tend to find this typology inadequate. Many historians of religions, however, appreciate this typology because it presents an accurate classifying scheme for NRMs on the basis of historical and theological data.


2. Aberle's Typology

Anthropologists have also contributed to the classification of social and religious movements. David F. Aberle in his book The Peyote Religion among the Navaho presented one of the most influential classifications among them.[8] According to Aberle,

Social movements may be classified by reference to two dimensions. One is the dimension of the locus of the change sought. The other is the dimension of the amount of change sought. As to locus, a movement may aim to change individu­als or some supra-individual system—the economic order, the technological order, the political order, the law, a total society or culture, the world, or indeed the cosmos. As to amount of change, movements may aim at total or partial change. These two dimensions give rise to four types…[9]

Utilizing these two dimensions, Aberle presented the following four types of social movements: 1) transformative movements, which aim at a total change in supra-individ­ual systems, 2) reformative movements, which aim at a partial change in supra-individual systems, 3) redemptive movements, which aim at a total change in individuals, and 4) alterative movements, which aim at a partial change in individuals. Because Aberle clearly acknowledged that religious movements constitute one class of social move­ments, we will be allowed to present Aberle's typology of social movements as a typology of NRMs as well. It is illustrated in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Aberle's Typology of New Religious Movements[10]


Locus of Change




Amount of Change









A number of scholars applied Aberle's typology of social movements to their studies on NRMs.[11] Bryan Wilson referred to Aberle's typology in his Magic and Millennium.[12] In "Moonies" in America, David Bromley and Anson Shupe discussed Aberle's classification as a framework to understand the Unification movement.[13] Keith Roberts in his textbook also discussed Aberle's typology in the section on the NRMs.[14]

Following Aberle's typology, Bromley and Shupe identified the Unification movement as a "transformative" movement that aims at a total change in the supra-individual system. In fact, they called it "a world-transforming movement." I have acquired, however, certain reservation about their identifying the Unificationist move­ment as a "transformative" movement on the basis of Aberle's typology.[15] It appears to me that Bromley and Shupe underestimated the UC’s efforts for a total change of indi­viduals—an aspect of a redemptive movement. In my view, the Unification movement attempts to bring about a total change of individuals and subsequent to or almost simultaneously with a total change of supra-individuals (culture and social structures). Aberle's category of the "redemptive movement" does not fit the Unification movement well, not because the UC is indifferent to the total change of individuals, but because movements in that category are assumed to be rather indifferent to changing the culture and social structures. Neither category is totally appropriate for the Unification movement, which is concerned with both.

In contrast to Bromley and Shupe's emphasis on the “supra-individual” world-transforming goals and activities of the Unification movement, Joseph Fichter found the UC essentially evangelistic and individualistic in its strategy of building the Kingdom of God on earth.[16] Even though the CAUSA Lecture Manual might be assumed to be evidence for the movement’s world-transforming goals, the thrust of its content is rather more in agreement with Fichter's analysis than with Bromley and Shupe's.[17] In my view, however, Fichter's description of the UC somewhat underestimates the significance of its supra-individual “transformative” or “reformative” activities.

One must be fully aware that Aberle's typology presents so-called “ideal types” or pure types. Ideal types are not labels, but yardsticks to understand reality. Therefore, as Aberle himself cautioned, real movements always have a combination of elements from different types.[18]


3. Glock and Bellah's Typology

In The New Religious Consciousness, Charles Glock and Robert Bellah’s celebrated book on NRMs in the San Francisco Bay area, they provide us with a three­fold classification of the NRMs:[19]

1) New Religious Movements in the Asian Tradition

2) New Quasi-Religious Movements

3) New Religious Movements in the Western Tradition


Although these categories are too simple to constitute a systematic typology, this three­fold classification is a commonsensical and convenient one. Tipton followed it in his research, selecting a typical NRM from each of these three categories (The Living Word Fellowship, Erhard Seminar Training [est], Pacific Zen Center) as subjects for his study.[20]

Strangely enough, Glock and Bellah's book did not include any research on the UC, despite Lofland and Stark's prior extensive research on it in the San Francisco Bay area and tremendous controversies about the UC in the mid-1970s.[21] Apparently, Glock and Bellah's classification was determined not inductively but deductively. The three­fold classification was decided first, and then nine representative NRMs—three of the most typical NRMs for each of the three types—were selected afterwards. However, the UC is not a representative type of any of Glock and Bellah's three categories. In light of its geographical origin from Korea, the UC is somewhat close to the "NRMs in the Asian Tradition"; on the other hand, in light of its theological origin, because its teachings are unmistakably based on the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is one of the "NRMs in the Western Tradition." If we were compelled to choose just one type among the three in classifying the UC, it would be "NRMs in the Western Tradition." Yet because of its Korean roots, the UC is not a typical example of NRMs in that category. Glock and Bellah's threefold classificatory scheme is too simple to deal with syncretic or eclectic NRMs such as the UC.[22]


4. Anthony's Typology

One of the most systematic and influential typologies of NRMs was formul­ated by Dick Anthony. He first introduced his typology in Sociological Analysis in 1978, revising it in later years.[23] It was originally developed as a device for summarizing his team's research into the mental health effects of the new religions.[24] We will begin by discussing his first presentation of the typology, where it became widely known and influential.

Viewing the contemporary emergence of NRMs as rooted in a normative break­down or value crisis, Anthony classified NRMs into dualistic and monistic movements in accordance with their different responses to increasing moral ambiguity. In this classi­fication, dualistic movements "reaffirm elements of traditional moral absolutism," whereas monistic movements "affirm relativistic and subjectivistic moral meaning systems."[25] Anthony noted the characteristics of dualistic and monistic movements as follows:

Dualistic movements such as "Jesus movement" groups and neo-Pentecostal groups can be viewed as articulating a fervent protest against relativistic and "permissive" trends in American culture through the strident reaffirmation of theocentric ethical dualism…

Monistic or "eastern" mystical groups in America tend to project a vision of the universe in which there is an ultimate metaphysical unity or "oneness" which dissolves polarities and imparts an ultimately illusory or epiphenom­enal quality (Maya) to the material world… Such [monistic] movements are thus often asso­ciated with notions of immanence and conceptions of divinity or ultimate reality as a depth of self.[26]

Furthermore, in his early typology Anthony subdivided contemporary American dual­istic religious movements into (a) "neo-fundamentalist (e.g., 'Jesus movement') groups" and (b) "revisionist syncretic movements." It is noteworthy that Anthony and his team classified the UC as a typical dualistic movement of the latter type, calling it "fiercely Manichaean."[27]

Anthony also advocated a systematic sub-typology of monistic movements by focusing on the means to monistic enlightenment from two different perspec­tives: technical versus charismatic approaches to spiritual realization and one-level versus two-level conceptualizations of consciousness expansion.[28] Technical movements employ standardized and repetitive "techniques" which can be taught and which are regarded as instrumental in acquiring the enlightenment. Charismat­ic movements, on the other hand, "seek… enlightenment through veneration and emulation of leaders who are regarded as exemplars of advanced consciousness." Put differently, in such charismatic movements, "a personal devotional relationship to a 'master' is considered more spiri­tually vital and meaningful than the practice of standardized techniques."[29]

The Anthony typology's second variable involved a distinction between "one-level" and "two-level" conceptualizations of how to attain enlightenment. One-level monistic movements regard the monistic vision as having existential and experiential validity for its believers as soon as they are converted to it as a worldview. Therefore, members of these one-level movements regard themselves as already "having achieved a state of enlightenment towards which others are evolving." They make no distinction between immediate and ultimate levels of monistic truth. Accordingly, Anthony and his team noted that one-level monistic movements generally lack explicit ethics of self-denial or self-sacrifice, and that some scholars' critiques of NRMs as "narcissistic" and "socially complacent"[30] "may apply primarily (though not exclusively) to one-level monism."[31]

Two-level monistic movements, on the other hand, make a distinction between immediate wisdom and the ultimate monistic consciousness characteristic of an ad­vanced and rare stage of spiritual evolution. Devotees of these two-level movements see not only those outside their own movements but also themselves within the move­ments as being on a "lower level" of spiritual awakening. Consequently, they are likely to accept "moral prohibitions" appropriate to their lower level of consciousness as a necessary condition in order to reach the higher level of consciousness. Therefore, Anthony noted that the teachings of these two-level movements provided their believers with a rationale for self-discipline and moral restraint.

Combining charismatic versus technical and one-level versus two-level vari­ables, Anthony and his team thus generated four subtypes of monistic movements. Accordingly, they presented their classification of NRMs in contemporary America as follows:

1) Dualistic movements a) Neo-fundamentalist movements
Alamo Foundation; Children of God
b) Revisionist syncretic movements

Unification Church


2) Monistic movements a) One-level technical movements
Erhard Seminar Training, TM, Scientology, Nichiren Shoshu
b) One-level charismatic movements
Manson Family, Mel Lyman's American Avatar Cult, Allan Noonan's Messiah's One World Crusade, OM cult
c) Two-level technical movements
Hare Krishna, Integral Yoga, Tibetan Buddhist groups, Zen groups, Yogi Bhajan [3HO]
d) Two-level charismatic movements
Meher Baba, Baba Muktananda, Bubba Free John, Maharaj-Ji


Robbins, Anthony, and Richardson noted that "the one-level versus two-level and the technical versus charismatic distinctions also have some value in typing dualistic groups and movements."[32] Agreeing with their note, I stated in my earlier evaluation of the Anthony typology in 1987 as follows:

I believe that to subdivide dualistic movements by these two variables would make the typology more comprehensive. This would contribute to the under­standing of salient characteristics of the UC. As indicated by Anthony et al., neo-Pentecostalism may be classified as a technical movement since glossolalia or baptism of the Holy Spirit is a standardized process for their salvation. We can also see that dualistic charismatic movements are guided by what Weber called "ethical prophets" in contrast to monistic charismatic movements that are cen­tered on "exemplary prophets." In this scheme of classification, neo-fundamen­talist groups that emphasize "justification by faith," "salvation by the blood of Jesus," or "immediate 'once and for all' redemption" may be classified as one-level movements. In contrast, those groups that emphasize paying the cost of discipleship and the future attainment of "sanctification" or "perfection" subse­quent to conversion may be viewed as two-level movements.[33]

As I recommended, Anthony later advocated classifying not only monistic groups but also dualistic groups by the same criteria. The revised Anthony typology assesses all NRMs along three dimensions: 1) its metaphysics in terms of monism or dualism, 2) its central mode of practice in terms of technical or charismatic type, and 3) its interpretive sensibility in terms of unilevel versus multilevel (previously called one-level versus two-level) sensibility. The new Anthony typology is illustrated in Figure 2:


Figure 2: The Anthony Typology[34]







Multilevel monistic charismatic groups

Multilevel dualistic charismatic groups


Multilevel monistic technical groups

Multilevel dualistic technical groups




Unilevel monistic charismatic groups

Unilevel dualistic charismatic groups


Unilevel monistic technical groups

Unilevel dualistic technical groups


In this revised typology, Anthony and Ecker classified the UC as "a unilevel, dualistic, charismatic movement."[35] Here, I strongly disagree with their classification of the UC as a unilevel movement. In my assessment, the UC is most definitely a multi­level movement. Its emphasis is not on instantaneous redemption, but on "paying indemnity" throughout one's life until attaining the goal of perfect unity of mind and body and an ideal family. Even then, one must keep on walking the path of self-sacrifice until completing the mission of the "Tribal Messiah." Thus, the UC encourages each member to practice self-discipline and self-sacrifice in order to reach complete unity with God, first in himself or herself on the individual stage, second in his or her blessed family on the family stage, and third in his or her tribal or clan community on the tribal stage. Moreover, in each stage the member is to "pay indemnity" in order to go up step by step in terms of relations with God, from the level of "servant of servant" to "servant" to "adopted son" to "real son" and so on to complete unity with God. This is the gist of what Reverend Moon has repeatedly taught UC members: "we need to pass the eight stages of restoration of indemnity vertically and horizontally."[36]

As for its metaphysics, it must be noted that the ideology of the UC deviates considerably from strict dualism. I regard Anthony and Robbins's labeling of the UC as "fiercely Manichaean"[37] or "extreme exemplary dualism"[38] as too hyperbolic to be an accurate description. The UC's most authoritative textbook, Exposition of the Divine Principle, predicted the coming in the near future of the peaceful unified world centered on God, after the struggles between the forces of good and evil have come to an end.[39] In particular, the seemingly dualistic struggle between democracy and communism was never more than provisional.

After repeatedly predicting the collapse of the communist world in our time, in 1990 Reverend Moon went to Moscow, delivered a speech in the Kremlin, and embraced then President Gorbachev. In 1991 he also visited North Korea, spoke in its Parliament, and embraced Kim Il-sung. Though some people regarded his embracing of communist leaders as a sign of change in Unification theology, I regard it as a sign that the leaders of the communist world had softened towards Reverend Moon’s teach­ing. Reverend Moon has consistently preached that people should forgive and love their enemies. It was not so difficult for communist leaders, especially in their weak­ened condition and fearful of revenge by their enemies, to endorse his philosophy of forgiveness, true love, and social unity.

On the question of dualism, Eileen Barker's description of Unification theology is more careful and accurate than is Anthony and Robbins's. Barker noted:

As well as the "soft dualism" of complementarity, Unification theology also exhibits an almost Manichaean dualism of the competing forces of good and evil. I say "almost Manichaean" because in Unification theology the forces of good and evil have not got an eternal character.[40]

James Beckford also critiqued of Anthony and Robbins, cautioning them against uncritically bundling the UC with Western fundamentalisms into the class of dualistic movements. Beckford noted,

If the distinction between eastern religious movements and fundamentalist movements has any heuristic value in helping to generate understanding of the sociological distinctiveness of the Unification Church it probably lies in the fact that the Rev. Moon's movement combines the two extreme types within itself. I am reluctant to accept that it can be meaningfully classified without severe qualification with any other kinds of Christian fundamentalist groups. And there are no fewer problems in likening it unreservedly to other eastern movements. It is a hybrid.[41]

Presenting another taxonomy of NRMs, which is less systematic than the above, Anthony and Robbins also referred to the dualistic NRMs that synthesize political and religious themes as civil religion sects. In contrast, monistic apolitical NRMs were divided into “eastern mystical movements” (e.g., Zen Buddhism, Meher Baba) and quasi-mystical therapeutic movements or “human potential movements” (e.g., est, Scientology).[42]

Anthony and Robbins pointed out the UC as the best example of the civil relig­ion sect.[43] I have no basic objection to their calling the UC a typical civil religion sect, insofar as their meaning of civil religion lies within the bounds of what was originally proposed by Robert Bellah in his seminal essay "Civil Religion in America," which did not attach any negative connotation to the concept of civil religion.[44] My objection lies rather in their description of the UC under that rubric, which was preoccupied with an analysis of affinity between the UC and American civil religion, especially its degener­ate type. Therefore, they failed to recognize the fact that the UC has promoted a pro­phetic type of not only American but also global civil religion.[45]

As Robbins noted, the Anthony typology contains "an explicit normative focus involving the discrimination of 'authentic' from 'inauthentic' paths to transcendence."[46] Particularly through its distinction between unilevel and multilevel movements, it offers a diagnosis whether or not a particular NRM is likely to lead to destructive social and psychological consequences. I agree with Robbins that the unilevel versus multi­level distinction is "really the key critical dimension of the [Anthony] typology."[47] I appreciate the unilevel versus multilevel distinction, despite Anthony's erroneous clas­sification of the UC as a unilevel movement, because I agree with Anthony's judgment that unilevel-type movements can be harmful to their believers' spiritual growth.


5. Bird's Typology

Canadian sociologist of religion Frederick Bird also saw the emergence and growth of NRMs as a response to the contemporary moral dilemma. Bird’s thesis was that these movements tend to encourage among their adherents "reduced feelings of moral accountability" or "enhanced feelings of innocence."[48]

Bird developed a classification of NRMs according to a tripartite typology of their adherents, as: 1) devotees of a spiritual leader or Truth, 2) disciples of a spiritual discipline, and 3) apprentices of some sorcerer or magic/science.[49] In other words, he based his typology of NRMs "according to the relationship of followers to masters or the relationship of the religious seekers to the sacred power they revere." His threefold classification of NRMs is as follows:[50]

1) Devotee groups

UC, Catholic and Protestant Charismatics, Divine Light Mission, Nichiren Shoshu, ISKCON

2) Discipleship groups

Integral Yoga Institute, Dharmadatu groups

3) Apprenticeship groups

Psychosynthesis, Silva Mind Control, est, Arica, TM, Scientology


According to Bird, 1) members of the devotee groups ultimately surrender them­selves to a holy master or ultimate superhuman truth; 2) members of the discipleship groups "progressively seek to master spiritual and/or physical discipline in order to achieve a state of enlightenment and self-harmony"; and 3) participants of the appren­ticeship groups "seek to master particular psychic, shamanic and therapeutic skills in order to tap and realize sacred powers within themselves." As Bird noted, apprentice­ship groups correspond roughly to what Robbins, Anthony, and Richardson called monistic, one-level, technical groups; likewise, discipleship groups correspond roughly to monistic, two-level, technical groups. Devotee groups, on the other hand, correspond roughly to what the earlier Anthony typology classified as charismatic groups, which in its revised version belong to either monistic or dualistic groups.

I can agree that in Bird’s threefold typology the UC should be classified as a devotee group. I have strong misgivings, however, about his sweeping assertion that NRMs of this type "all foster among their participants reduced feelings of moral accountability or enhanced feelings of innocence" in contrast to traditional Jewish and Christian denominations that "heighten or at least reinforce feelings of moral account­ability."[51] Many people have come to know that the UC enhances its members feelings, not of innocence, but of guilt, especially prior to their marriage under the founder’s "Blessing." Furthermore, the UC emphasizes the importance of individual moral responsibility in building a better society, although Bird did not equate moral account­ability with moral responsibility.

I critique Bird’s typology, first, because the terms he employs are somewhat ambiguous and not self-explanatory. It is particularly difficult to conceive the differ­ences between the devotees and disciples of NRMs exactly as proposed by Bird unless told of their distinctions in advance. A second weakness of Bird's typology is that NRMs are classified according to types of followers without reference to the types of their leaders or founders. For example, taking Weber's typology of religious lead­ers/founders into consideration, I can conceive that NRMs where groups of devotees follow ethical prophets might belong to a different class from NRMs where groups of devotees follow exemplary prophets. Finally, Bird's sweeping assertion that all contempo­rary NRMs foster among their participants reduced feelings of moral accountability in contrast to traditional Jewish and Christian denominations remains very questionable in the absence of any empirical evidence.


6. Hargrove's Typology

Focusing on the function of NRMs and the personality types of their members, Barbara Hargrove proposed a twofold classification of NRMs: integrative and transfor­mative religions.[52] She conceptualized conditions leading to susceptibility to NRMs as alienation or anomie. Furthermore, following Loye, she viewed these two concepts as foci of concern of liberal and conservative personality types, respectively.[53] In other words, alienation may be seen as the malady for the liberal personality type, who is concerned for "growth, reaching out, [and] new experience," whereas anomie may be seen as the bane of our life for the conservative personality type, who is concerned about a lack, or confusion, of moral codes (norms). Thus, she saw the alienated or liberal personality-type persons as having "growth needs" and often resorting to "anti-institutionalism." In contrast, she discerned the anomic or the conservative personality-type persons as having "identity needs and desire for community."[54]

Hargrove thus classified NRMs attracting the anomic as integrative religions and those attracting the alienated as transformative religions. She also found certain paral­lels between these NRMs and Troeltsch's three types of Christianity: church, sect, and mysticism. She compared the integrative NRMs to his "sect" type, and the transforma­tive NRMs to his "mysticism." In her view, the extreme privatization in the mainline churches facilitated the rise of the integrative NRMs, which offer strict moral codes and a clearly identifiable community. She mentioned the UC as an example of the integra­tive religion. Likewise, she considered secularization or bureaucratization of the main­line churches to be the source of the emergence of the transformative NRMs, which "tend toward celebrating individual awareness and growth."

I agree that by Hargrove’s bipolar typology the UC is to be located as one of the integrative NRMs. My criticism is that, in spite of her neat presentation, no bipolar classification of NRMs can avoid the criticism of being excessively reductionistic. There is also a question whether or not alienation and anomie are sufficiently contrastable to serve as the basis for such a bipolar classification.[55]


7. Westley's Typology

Frances Westley presented another bipolar classification of NRMs in her book entitled The Complex Forms of the Religious Life: A Durkheimian View of New Relig­ious Movements.[56] She developed her typology on the basis of where NRMs locate the sacred. One type of NRMs are "those which clearly locate the sacred as lying within the human individual," while the other type are "those which clearly locate the sacred as lying outside the human individual." She regarded these two types as "points at two ends of a continuum" and admitted that there are a variety of NRMs whose view of the sacred is ambiguous. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that, as her book's subtitle shows, she followed Durkheim and called groups of the first type, which see the sacred exist­ing within the human individual, “cult of man groups” or cult-of-the-human-person groups.[57] These, she noted, are frequently labeled "human potential groups."[58] On the basis of her local research in the Montreal area, Westley classified as cult-of-the-human-person groups six NRMs: Scientology, Psychosynthesis, Arica, est, Shakti, and Silva Mind Control.[59]

Westley treated the UC as not of the cult-of-the-human-person type because in her view the UC is a one of the groups that "see their leaders as incarnate deities."[60] In other words, she regards the UC a group that sees the sacred existing only within the leader and not within the ordinary members. In contrast, in groups classified as cult-of-the-human-person type, members do not regard their leader as being any more divine than the followers.

I question, however, her categorization of the UC as typical of groups not of the cult-of-the-human-person type. It seems that she was not fully informed of the low Christology (emphasizing the humanity of Christ) in the UC, in contrast to the high Christology (emphasizing the divinity of Christ) found in Evangelical and fundamen­talist Christian churches.[61] My contention is that Unification theology gener­ally supports low Christology and high anthropology (i.e., human perfectibility and the divine nature of perfected human beings), and therefore it is possible to find a certain agreement or compatibility between the UC members' view of human beings and what Durkheim termed a cult of the human person.

It is important to note that, as Westley and Lukes described, the mature Durk­heim did not attach any negative connotation to the term "cult of the human person." By cult (Fr. "culte") Durkheim meant not a small deviant religious group, but an act of worship.[62] Cult of the human person meant a religious respect for the innate dignity and worth of each human person. Revising his earlier negative assessment of the cult of the individual,[63] the mature Durkheim reached the conclusion that, far from being detrimental to social solidarity, the cult of the human person "is the only system of beliefs which can ensure the moral unity of the country."[64]

Exposition of the Divine Principle asserts that perfected human beings will acquire "a divine value, comparable to God,"[65] and that all human beings have the potential to reach perfection as Jesus preached in Matthew 5:48, "You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." Some scholars suggested that Durkheim's concept of the cult of the human person can be viewed as a source for a global civil religion.[66] Mean­while, a number of scholars identified the UC as a promoter of a global civil religion.[67] Therefore, it is natural for us to wonder what kind of relations exists between the UC and the cult of the human person.

Furthermore, given Durkheim's observation that Christian societies more than any other societies have promoted the dignity and worth of individuals—that is, human rights—we must find fault with Westley’s quick dismissal of all monotheistic groups (e.g., Christian groups) from consideration as cult-of-the-human-person groups. In Suicide, Durkheim noted the rise of the cult of human person in Christian societies as follows:

If it [disapproving of suicide] has become so formal and severe in Christian so­cieties, this is not because of the idea of the State held by these people but be­cause of their new conception of the human personality. It has become sacred, even most sacred in their eyes, something which no one is to offend.[68]

In other words, according to Durkheim, mature Christian societies give rise to the cult of human person. There must be something of the cult of human person in the Christian tradition that has promoted the ideal of universal human rights. In my view, it is the Christian teaching of the imago Dei (image of God) in every human being. We can regard the Christian teaching that human beings manifest the image of God as the source of the dignity and worth of human beings, that is, the source of "the sacred" in human beings.[69]

Thus, Westley's typology, dichotomizing the existence of the sacred as either within or outside the human individual, is too rigid to explain many new groups of the Christian family, including the UC. Recall that the Bible (e.g., I Corinthians 3:16) calls Christians "God's temple," which means that God's spirit dwells in them. Therefore, we cannot classify all new Christian groups as NRMs that locate the sacred outside the human individual. Moreover, in my view, it is more Durkheimian to acknowledge the existence of the sacred not only within but also outside the human individual. The mature Durkheim regarded society as the real object of worship as well as the real source of the sacred, but came to the view that society exists not only outside the indi­vidual but also within.[70]


8. Lofland and Richardson's Typology

John Lofland and James T. Richardson presented a typology of NRMs as "religious movement organizations."[71] Dissatisfied with the church-sect-cult typology of religious groups, Lofland and Richardson advocated a new classificatory scheme that focuses on the degree of their "corporateness." Their classification focused on NRMs as organizations and distinguished them according to the "degree to which a set of per­sons actively promotes and participates in a shared and collective life."[72] Here we can see the influence of Mary Douglas's typology based on grid control and group commitment.[73]

Lofland and Richardson discerned five basic types of organization in religious movements. In order of their increasing corporateness, they are called clinic, congrega­tion, collective, corps, and colony. The degree of their corporateness is measured by the responses to six key questions concerning, 1) income or other sustenance producing work; 2) shelter or residence; 3) food provision and eating organization; 4) family or other emotional support circles; 5) collective promulgation of cognitive orientation; and 6) a belief that the organization itself is ideal. We present Lofland and Richardson's typology of religious movement organizations in Figure 3.[74]


Figure 3: Lofland and Richardson's Typology of Religious Movement Organizations


Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

Question 6




































Question 1. work/income generated?

Question 2. residence organized?

Question 3. organized provision of food and eating?

Question 4. family/support circles organized?

Question 5. collective dissemination of cognitive orientation?

Question 6. arrangement viewed as ideal?


Lofland and Richardson noted that there are various hybrids of these types of the religious movement organization. They referred to the early centers of the UC in America as "hybrids of corps and household collectives." For Lofland and Richardson, the corps is, "not the 'new world in embryo'", but "a stage through which the believer must pass in order to get to the new and qualitatively better new world."[75] Such hybrids of corps and household collectives as were found in the early UC,

…view themselves as temporary organizations and establish household collec­tives but these households are not viewed as budding, ideal forms of a new world. Like a corps, they are expedient and not "prefigurative."[76]

For these reasons, Lofland and Richardson criticized other scholars for describing the UC in the West as a "communal" movement and its centers as "communes." They prop­erly pointed out that "in the literature the term commune is applied indiscriminately to collectives, corps and colonies," and that it is imprecise to use the same word for all three of these very different organizations.[77] I fully agree. Such terms as "commune" and "communal" are ambiguous and misleading labels, especially when applied to the UC even in its early years in Korea. Since Unification theology emphasizes the impor­tance of the family unit (monogamous marriage), the UC centers in the 1970s, with their large number of the live-in single members, must be seen neither as prefigurative of an ideal world nor as an ideal form of living, but as a temporary expedient form that was destined to fade away as the UC developed.

In fact, in its current development, the UC has evolved, using Lofland and Richardson's typology, from a hybrid of corps and household collective to a congrega­tional type. The current diversification of the Unification movement has led many members to pursue various non-religious vocations in business, education, politics, journalism, arts, and entertainment. Moreover, the number of the married members in the UC has increased by leaps and bounds at every mass wedding (e.g., church mem­bers participating in the worldwide blessings of 360,000 couples, 3.6 million couples, 39.6 million couples and 120 million couples between 1995 and 1998). At the same time, the number of members living in centers has decreased. Today, married (Blessed) cou­ples with children who live outside the UC centers are the most common type of mem­bership and constitute a great majority of the local congregations of the UC in Korea, in Japan, in the United States, and in many other nations. As a result of these develop­ments, what Lofland and Richardson would describe as the Congregation has become the mainstay of the UC.

As for the ideal living arrangement of the future Unification movement, Reverend Moon has frequently mentioned that in the future, Blessed families should live as trinities. He envisions housing complexes where groups of three or four Blessed families live in private apartments surrounding a shared common living space, living cooperatively and helping each other in many ways. Among every group of three fami­lies living together there should ideally be families of different races and nationalities. By changing the constituent families of the trinity group every twelve years, families can acquire a record of having truly loved all races and nationalities here on earth.[78] Such a future lifestyle envisioned for the Unification movement would be much closer to the household collective type than to the current congregation type in the Lofland and Richardson typology of religious movement organizations; it may be regarded as a moderate type of communitarian lifestyle. Whether the Unification movement will become such an international and interracial communitarian movement remains to be seen.

Lofland and Richardson's typology and their discussion on the UC thus accu­rately illuminates the nature and characteristics of the UC centers in comparison to other religious movement organizations.


9. Conclusion

In this paper we reviewed most of the prominent typologies of NRMs.[79] By making use of various categories or ideal types set up by these typologies, we have attempted to illuminate the characteristics of the UC. Nevertheless, it is important for us to keep in mind that various categories or ideal types are yardsticks or heuristic tools to understand real movements. We have a tendency to use various types as labels; as soon as we attach a label to a certain NRM, we are liable to read all the attributes of that type into the concrete movement. To avoid this mistake, we should remember that for any defining variable, the two contrasting ideal types are the most extreme cases, while all concrete groups fall somewhere on a continuum between the two ideal types.

I hope that the typological discussions in this paper are helpful in understanding and communicating the characteristics of the UC and of other NRMs. By familiarizing ourselves with pros and cons of each typology of NRMs we will be able to make wise use of these classificatory categories or ideal types as heuristic devices.



[1] Contemporary sociologists of religion have frequently used the term "NRMs." See e.g., David G. Bromley and Phillip E. Hammond, eds., The Future of New Religious Movements (Macon, GA: Mercer Univ. Press, 1987); Eileen Barker, New Religious Movements (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1989). Many historians of religion, however, prefer to avoid the term because many of what are called NRMs are not really new when seen from a global historical perspective. See e.g., Gordon J. Melton, "Another Look at New Religions," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 527 (May 1993): 97-112. Many are old traditional religions merely imported from other nations. Some of the terms historians prefer to the "NRMs" are "alternative religions" and "nonconventional religions." See e.g., Timothy Miller, ed., America's Alternative Religions (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995) and Melton, "Another Look at New Religions." Our review of typologies of NRMs will include not only those labeled NRMs but also what some have labeled religious movements or social movements.

[2] For my discussion on other typologies of religion and characteristics of the UC, see the followings: Yoshihiko Masuda, "Typologizing Religious Groups: A Preliminary Presentation Towards a Better Understanding of the Unification Church," Sun Moon Forum 4 (Chonan, Korea: Sun Moon Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 207-36; Yoshihiko Masuda, "Theological Typologies of Religious Groups and the Identity of the Unification Church," Journal of Unification Theology 1 (1996): 318-50; Yoshihiko Masuda, "A Discussion on Miscellaneous Typologies of Religion and the Identity of the Unification Church," Journal of Unification Theology 2 (1997): 398-426.

[3] Robert S. Ellwood, Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973).

[4] It is noteworthy that, introducing the UC Religious and Spiritual Groups (pp. 293-95), Ellwood reprinted a long passage from Arthur Ford, Unknown But Known (New York: Harper & Row; Signet Mystic Book, 1968) pp. 111-12. In this passage, Ford's spirit guide, Fletcher, clearly testified through the mouth of Ford in trance that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is "the voice of this Intelligence—Creative Mind—which you call God," and that "for the present moment he is, in my estimation, a most important spiritual light that shines in the darkness of your confused world." Fletcher further testified that:

Mr. Moon in deep meditation can project himself and be seen just as Jesus has been able to project himself and be seen by the saints. This is one of the marks of the messiahs always.

[5] It is important to note that Ellwood did not attach any negative connotation to the term "cult." For his discussion of cults, see Ellwood, Religious and Spiritual Groups; Ellwood, "Several Meanings of Cult," Thought 61 (June 1986): 212-24.

[6] Diane Choquette, comp., New Religious Movements in the United States and Canada (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1985).

[7] Gordon J. Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, 2d ed. (Detroit: Gale, 1987), attempted to classify all religious groups in the United States on a basis somewhat similar to Ellwood's classification. Melton presented seventeen large classificatory religious families based on "common heritage, thought world (theology in its broadest sense), and lifestyle" (xiii-xv). Applying this classificatory scheme, Melton classified the UC as one of the groups in "Spiritualist, Psychic, and New Age Family." Julia Corbett called Melton's classificatory scheme a "family grouping" and made a distinction from the so-called "typological classifications" and "choice-point analyses." See Julia Mitchell Corbett, "Religion in the United States: Notes toward a New Classification," Religion and American Culture 3 (Winter 1993): 91-112. If we follow her threefold distinctions of classification, we can also regard Ellwood's scheme of classification as a "family grouping" of NRMs.

[8] David F. Aberle, The Peyote Religion among the Navaho, 2d ed. (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 315-22.

[9] Ibid., p. 316.

[10] Ibid., p. 316.

[11] For a fine summary and evaluation of Aberle's typology, see John Wilson, Introduction to Social Movements (New York: Basic Books, 1973), pp. 23-27.

[12] Bryan Wilson, Magic and Millennium (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), p. 491. Based on a misquotation, Wilson, followed by David Bromley, Anson Shupe, Keith Roberts and Gordon Marshall, renders one of Aberle's typological terms, "alterative" movements, as "alternative" movements.

[13] David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe, Jr., "Moonies" in America: Cult, Church, and Crusade (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1979), pp. 22-23.

[14] Keith A. Roberts, Religion in Sociological Perspective (Homewood, IL: Dorsey, 1984) 204; 3rd ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1995)p. 182.

[15] This is a change of my assessment and a departure from my previous uncritical acceptance of their classification of the Unification movement in my Ph.D. dissertation. See Yoshihiko Masuda, "Moral Vision and Practice in the Unification Movement: A Critical Interpretation of the Sociological Literature from a Unificationist Perspective," Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Southern California, 1987.

[16] Joseph H. Fichter, "Home Church: Alternative Parish," Alternative to American Mainline Churches, ed. J. H. Fichter (New York: Rose of Sharon, 1983), p. 192; Joseph H. Fichter, The Holy Family of Father Moon (Kansas City: Leaven, 1985), pp. 111-30.

[17] [Bo Hi Pak, Thomas Ward and William Lay,] CAUSA Lecture Manual (New York: CAUSA Institute, 1985), p. 242. For a further discussion on the relations between the redemptive (evangelistic) aspect and the transformative or reformative (cultural/social reform) aspect of the Unification movement, see Masuda, Ph.D. diss., pp. 326-30.

[18] Aberle, Peyote Religion, p. 317.

[19] Charles Y. Glock and Robert N. Bellah, eds., The New Religious Consciousness (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1976).

[20] Steven M. Tipton, Getting Saved from the Sixties (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1982).

[21] E.g., John Lofland, "The World Savers: A Field Study of Cult Processes," Ph.D. Diss., Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1964; John Lofland, Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966); John Lofland and Rodney Stark, "Becoming a World-Saver: A Theory of Conversion to a Deviant Perspective," American Sociological Review 30 (December 1965): 862-74.

[22] In answer to my question, Professor Bellah confirmed that the omission of the UC from The New Religious Consciousness had not been intentional in the least, but was inadvertent. (Personal conversation, 1983.)

[23] Thomas Robbins, Dick Anthony, and James Richardson, "Theory and Research on Today's 'New Religions'," Sociological Analysis 39 (Summer 1978): 95-122. Dick Anthony and Bruce Ecker, "The Anthony Typology: A Framework for Assessing Spiritual and Consciousness Groups," Spiritual Choices, ed. D. Anthony, B. Ecker, and K. Wilber (New York: Paragon House, 1987), pp. 35-105.

[24] Anthony and Ecker, Spiritual Choices, p. 94.

[25] Robbins et al., "Theory and Research," p. 101.

[26] Ibid., p. 101-2.

[27] Ibid., p. 101.

[28] In the revised version of the Anthony typology, Anthony and Ecker came to employ the terms unilevel versus multilevel instead of one-level versus two-level.

[29] Robbins et al., "Theory and Research," p. 105.

[30] E.g., Peter Marin, "The New Narcissism: The Trouble with the Human Potential Movement," Harper's (October 1975): 45-56; Edwin M. Schur, The Awareness Trap: Self-Absorption Instead of Social Change (New York: New York Times Book, 1976); Christopher Lasch, "The Narcissistic Society," New York Review of Books, September 30, 1976, pp. 5-12.

[31] Robbins et al., "Theory and Research," p. 106.

[32] Ibid., p. 100n.

[33] Masuda, Ph.D. diss., p. 79.

[34] Anthony and Ecker, Spiritual Choices, p. 37

[35] Ibid., pp. 60-62.

[36] See Zin Moon Kim, The Fountain of Life: Based on the Words of Reverend Sun Myung Moon (New York: HSA-UWC, 1993) p. 231, for an illustrated summary and explanation of Reverend Moon's speeches on the eight stages of restoration.

[37] Robbins et al., "Theory and Research," p. 101.

[38] Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, "Spiritual Innovation and the Crisis of American Civil Religion," Religion and America, ed. M. Douglas and S. M. Tipton (Boston: Beacon, 1983) p. 246.

[39] [Eu, Hyo Won,] Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), pp. 87, 89, 99-103.

[40] Eileen Barker, "Living the Divine Principle: Inside the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in Britain." Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 45 (January/March 1978): 84.

[41] James A. Beckford, "Through the Looking-Glass and Out the Other Side: Withdrawal from the Reverend Moon's Unification Church." Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 45 (January/March 1978): 100n. Cf. James A. Beckford, "A Korean Evangelistic Movement in the West," Paper presented at the 12th International Conference for the Sociology of Religion, The Hague, 1973.

[42] Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, "Cultural Crisis and Contemporary Religion," In Gods We Trust, ed. T. Robbins and D. Anthony (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1981), pp. 9-31; Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, "Spiritual Innovation and the Crisis of American Civil Religion," Religion and America, ed. M. Douglas and S. M. Tipton, (Boston: Beacon, 1983), pp. 229-48.

[43] Anthony and Robbins, "Cultural Crisis," p. 17; Anthony and Robbins, "Spiritual Innovation," p. 235.

[44] Robert N. Bellah, "Civil Religion in America," Daedalus 96 (Winter 1967): 1-21.

[45] For a view of the UC as a promoter of the global civil religion, see e.g., Warren Lewis, "Is the Reverend Sun Myung Moon a Heretic?" A Time for Consideration, ed. M. D. Bryant and H. W. Richardson, 2d ed. (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1978), p. 211; Roland Robertson, "The Sacred and the World System." The Sacred in a Secular Age, ed. P. E. Hammond (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1985), p. 354.

[46] Thomas Robbins, Cults, Converts and Charisma: The Sociology of New Religious Movements (London: Sage, 1988), p. 135.

[47] Ibid., p. 137.

[48] Frederick Bird, "The Pursuit of Innocence: New Religious Movements and Moral Accountability." Sociological Analysis 40 (Winter 1979): 335-46.

[49] Frederick Bird, "Charisma and Ritual in New Religious Movements," Understanding the New Religions, ed. J. Needleman and G. Baker (New York: Seabury, 1978), p. 182-83. See also Anthony F. C. Wallace, "Revitalization Movements," American Anthropologist 58 (April 1956): 273, who presented “three orders of personnel: the prophet; the disciples; and the followers” in a campaign organization of what he called “revitalization movements.”

James A. Beckford, Cult Controversies (London: Tavistock, 1985), combined Bird's threefold typology of the followers of the NRMs and Wallace's "vertical" types of the members within a religious movement, classifying social relationships internal to NRMs in terms of devotee, adept, client, patron, and apostate. In my view, it is wise for him to include patrons and apostates in the discussion on the dynamics of the NRMs. Beckford also classified the external relationships of the NRMs vis-à-vis their host society as retreat, revitalization, and release. Unfortunately, he did not develop his conceptual framework for the purpose of analyzing NRMs in the social contexts into a full-fledged typology of NRMs.

[50] Bird, "The Pursuit of Innocence," p. 336.

[51] Ibid., p. 343.

[52] Barbara Hargrove, "Integrative and Transformative Religions," Understanding the New Religions, ed. J. Needleman and G. Baker (New York: Seabury, 1978), pp. 257-66.

[53] See David Loye, The Leadership Passion (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1977).

[54] Hargrove, "Integrative and Transformative Religions," p. 262.

[55] Cf. Thomas Robbins, Dick Anthony and Thomas Curtis, "Youth Culture Religious Movements: Evaluating the Integrative Hypothesis," Sociological Quarterly 16 (Winter 1975): 48-64., who discuss the relations between "the alienated" and "integration." Robbins and Anthony also discussed integrative, disintegrative and transformative functions of contemporary NRMs in the West. These three categories may be seen as a threefold typology of NRMs, although they did not formally present them as such. See Thomas Robbins and Dick Anthony, "New Religious Movements and Social System: Integration, Disintegration, or Transformation," Annual Review of the Social Sciences of Religion 2 (1978): 1-27.

[56] Frances Westley, The Complex Forms of the Religious Life: A Durkheimian View of New Religious Movements (Chico, CA: Scholars, 1983), p. 25.

[57] For Durkheim's explanation of the "cult of the human person," see Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society, trans. G. Simpson (New York: Macmillan, 1964), pp. 172, 407-8; Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society, trans. W. D. Halls (New York: Free Press, 1984), pp. 122, 338; Emile Durkheim, Suicide, trans. J. A. Spaulding and G. Simpson (New York: Free Press, 1966), pp. 333-336; Emile Durkheim, "Individualism and the Intellectuals," Emile Durkheim, trans. M. Traugott; ed. R. N. Bellah (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1973), pp. 43-57. We have avoided the sexist language of Westley's typology by employing "cult of the human person" in place of “cult of man," which she took over from older translations of Durkheim.

[58] Because "human potential groups" are sometimes referred to as "humanistic religious groups," Westley's typology is somewhat similar to Fromm's typology of "authoritarian religion" versus "humanistic religion." See Erich Fromm, Psychoanalysis and Religion (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1950).

[59] Westley, Complex Forms, pp. 31-34.

[60] Ibid., p. 25.

[61] For a theological typology of religious groups based on the view of Christ and characteristics of Unification theology, see Yoshihiko Masuda, "Theological Typologies of Religious Groups and the Identity of the Unification Church," Journal of Unification Theology 1 (1996): 318-50.

[62] For Durkheim's positive view of the cult of the human person, see Emile Durkheim, "Individualism and the Intellectuals"; Westley, Complex Forms; Steven Lukes, Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work (Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press, 1985), p. 166.

[63] Durkheim, Division of Labor in Society, trans. G. Simpson, p. 172.

[64] Durkheim, "Individualism and the Intellectuals," p. 50.

[65]Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 164.

[66] E.g., Ruth A. Wallace, "Emile Durkheim and the Civil Religion Concept," Review of Religious Research 18 (Spring 1977): 287-90.

[67] Lewis, "Is the Reverend Sun Myung Moon a Heretic?" p. 211; Robertson, "The Sacred and the World System," p. 354.

[68] Durkheim, Suicide, pp. 333-34.

[69] Nonetheless, some Christian theological traditions, notably the Lutheran tradition, emphasized the total loss of the imago Dei in human beings after the fall of our human ancestors. In my view, the Lutheran tradition's teaching of the complete loss of the imago Dei in the fallen human beings, as well as its social ethical theory of two kingdoms, was a factor that had contributed to the Holocaust in Germany during the World War II. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic tradition, which influenced Durkheim, has taught the existence of the imago Dei in all human beings even after the fall and even among non-Christians. Roman Catholic theology considers human reason (rational faculty) and free will to be the essence of the imago Dei in human beings. See Van A. Harvey, A Handbook of Theological Terms (New York: Macmillan, 1964), pp. 125-27; Young Oon Kim, An Introduction to Theology (New York: HSA-UWC, 1983), pp. 47-51; Alister E. McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 369-71.

[70] Emile Durkheim, "The Determination of Moral Facts," Sociology and Philosophy, trans. D. F. Pocock (New York: Free Press, 1974), p. 55, noted, “while society transcends us it is immanent in us and we feel it as such. While it surpasses us it is within us, since it can only exist by and through us… Thus, to love society is to love both something beyond us and something in ourselves.”

[71] John Lofland and James T. Richardson, "Religious Movement Organizations: Elementary Forms and Dynamics," Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, ed. L. Kriesberg (Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1984), pp. 29-51; also reprinted in John Lofland, Protest: Studies of Collective Behavior and Social Movements (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1985), pp. 179-200; James T. Richardson, ed., Money and Power in the New Religions (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1988), pp. 7-12.

[72] Lofland and Richardson, "Religious Movement Organizations," p. 29.

[73] See Mary Douglas, ed., Essays in the Sociology of Perception (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982).

[74] Lofland and Richardson, "Religious Movement Organizations," p. 33.

[75] Ibid., p. 38.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Ibid., p. 39.

[78] See e.g., Sun Myung Moon, Onna-no Michi [The Way of Women], Malsseum Pockets 2 (Tokyo: Kogensha, 1994); Sun Myung Moon, "Dai Hachikai Sekaitouitu-koku Kaitenbi Keireishiki-go-no Mikotoba [A Speech Delivered after the Pledge Service on the Eighth Foundation Day of the Nation of the Unified World]." Shukuhuku 87 (1995): 10-27.

[79] Among prominent typologies of NRMs not discussed in this paper are those by Roy Wallis, Rodney Stark and William S. Bainbridge, and G. K. Nelson.

Roy Wallis, The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), classified NRMs into three types: 1) world-rejecting NRMs, 2) world-affirming NRMs, and 3) world-accommodating NRMs. Wallis identified the UC as a world-rejecting NRM.

Stark and Bainbridge classified NRMs into three sub-types: 1) audience cults, 2) client cults, and 3) cult movements. They identified the UC in America as a cult movement. See Rodney Stark and William S. Bainbridge, "Of Churches, Sects, and Cults: Preliminary Concepts for a Theory of Religious Movements," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 18 (June 1979): 117-31; Rodney Stark and William S. Bainbridge, "Concepts for a Theory of Religious Movements," Alternatives to American Mainline Churches, ed. J. H. Fichter (New York: Rose of Sharon, 1983), pp. 3-25; Rodney Stark and William S. Bainbridge, The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival, and Cult Formation (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1985).

Geoffrey K. Nelson, "The Concept of Cult," Sociological Review 16 (November 1968): 351-62, also classified NRMs on the basis of their organizational characteristics. Nelson described three types of NRM as 1) cult, 2) permanent cult, and 3) centralized cult. According to Nelson, a cult depends on charisma of its leader and has minimal organization; a permanent cult depends on routinized charisma at a local level and has no national organization or bureaucratic structure; and a centralized cult rests on routinized charisma and has a national office and bureaucratic structure firmly established. Nelson opined that some cults become "new religions." I wonder why we cannot refer to what he called cults as "new religions."