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Title: The persistence of the Salvation Army : a challenge to the "sociology of sectarianism"
Author: Milligan, June Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1982
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The perspective of this thesis is different from that of recent studies within the sociology of religion in that it questions the value of continuing the sect-church typology and favours a phenomenological approach. It intends to move towards the vision of one reviewer of Wilson: Patterns of Sectarianism (1967) who looked forward to "further and rather different analysis of much of this material". In looking at the same or similar material in a different light it aims to contribute to the theoretical base of the sociology of religion. It sets out to look at the persistence of the Salvation Army as an institution, as a form of human organization designed to pursue religious aims, rather than as a "sect" or an example of any other academically imposed category. As such this study has nothing to add to the "sociology of sectarianism". This thesis utilizes the theory of Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann that there is a dialectic process involving the human construction and internalization of social reality, involving tensions and dualities which make the acceptance of that reality, and therefore human existence, possible. Here the processes involved in the genesis and development of the Salvation Army, together with the concomitant dualities and tensions, are exposed by empirical analysis and their importance assessed. An explanation of the persistence of the movement is presented built upon this theoretical perspective. This study represents an important empirical testing and application of Berger and Luckmann's theory. "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. "These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them; they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is - I repeat it - a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and c12arly the line of separation between them. "The world may not like to SRe these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show oass for sterling worth - to let whitewashed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinize and expose - to rase the gilding, and show the base metal underneath - to penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics: but, hate as it will, it is indebted to him." (Charlotte Bronte: dane Eyre, Preface)
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BV Practical Theology Sociology Human services Philosophy Religion History