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The Fragmentation of a SectSchism in the Worldwide Church of God$
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David V. Barrett

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199861514.001.0001

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After the Founder Dies

After the Founder Dies

How Movements Change

(p.177) Chapter 8 After the Founder Dies
The Fragmentation of a Sect

David V. Barrett

Oxford University Press

After the death of their founder religions often face a period of turmoil and readjustment, even if the succession has been well planned. An original typological model is used to categorise and analyse four ideal types of outcome: continuation, dissolution, reform/revolution and schism, and also increased convergence with or divergence from mainstream religion and society; the model is applied to the Worldwide Church of God and to a variety of other new religious movements. The chapter then examines a number of other factors affecting a movement after the death of its founder including: the second leader; the continuing organization; demography; doctrine; whether the movement is inward- or outward-looking; the internet; and the personality of new leaders. Finally it looks briefly at what may happen in some of the larger Worldwide offshoots when their now-elderly founder/leaders die.

Keywords:   death, succession, typological model, continuation, dissolution, reform/revolution, schism, convergence, divergence, second leader

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