Religion Past and Present

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(2,685 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

Both the etymology and the usage of the word sect are disputed. Derivation from Latin secare (“separate”) is possible, as is derivation from secta (from sectus, sequi, “school of thought”). English uses the word in the latter neutral sense, whereas the German equivalent Sekte is usually a pejorative exonym, corresponding to Eng. cult. M. Weber (see II below) distinguished between voluntary membership “of those who are religi…

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Dehn, Ulrich, Bochinger, Christoph, Thiede, Werner and Thiele, Christoph, “Sects”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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