One problem associated with ‘definitions in use’ is that they do not set out a clear boundary between religious and non-religious phenomena, but rely on people’s varied self-definitions.Classical sociological theory continues to exert a strong influence over the contemporary sociology of religion.
An early study of the Church of Scientology (, 1976) generated the typology of ideological collectivities shown below.
Cults and sects are both religiously deviant by comparison to the normatively sanctioned or respectable church and denominational orthodoxy.
Marx saw religious beliefs as ideological (the opium of the people), attributing to gods a divine power to shape individual lives which, in fact, lies within the power of human beings and societies.
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Eggen did not elaborate on what kind of accommodation might be reached, but acknowledged there would be some "latitude." "Latitude to ensure that the integrity and the protections that religion is allowed both in the province of Alberta and across the country are adhered to," he said, choosing his words carefully.