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sect

1. a subdivision of a larger religious group (esp the Christian Church as a whole) the members of which have to some extent diverged from the rest by developing deviating beliefs, practices, etc.
2. Often disparaging
a. a schismatic religious body characterized by an attitude of exclusivity in contrast to the more inclusive religious groups called denominations or Churches
b. a religious group regarded as extreme or heretical

sect

a religious, or sometimes a secular, social movement characterized by its opposition to and rejection of orthodox religious and/or secular institutions, doctrines and practices, e.g., the Shakers, Quakers, Amish Mennonites.

Sociologists have identified sectarianism with a relatively low level of institutionalization and with a tendency towards doctrinal heresy. Ernst Troeltsch (1912) distinguished between ‘churches’ and 'sects’ (see also CHURCH-SECT TYPOLOGY). ‘Churches’ were characterized as conservative, orthodox, hierarchic, tradition – and ritual-bound, having a high degree of organization and institutionalization. By contrast, 'sects’ were perfectionist, radical, egalitarian, manifesting a low degree of organization and institutionalization. 'Sectarians’ valued spontaneous action above ritual practice. Troeltsch regarded sect and church as polar opposites. Troeltsch's work was concerned with sectarian movements within Christianity and is consequently difficult to apply outside of this context. This is particularly the case where many Third World sectarian movements are concerned.

More recently, Bryan Wilson (1973) has suggested that 'sects’ may be regarded as 'self-distinguishing protest movements’. The protest may not necessarily be directed at orthodox churches but against state and other secular institutions within society. Wilson rejects Troeltsch's dichotomous model and suggests that it is useful to examine sectarian movements by reference to the relation between the following social factors: doctrine, degree of organization, form of association, social orientation and action. Wilson further suggests that 'sects’ may be typified according to their ‘responses to the world’. Many sectarian movements display some degree of conflict and tension with both the religious and secular social world. Consequently sectarians are often characterized by a desire to seek both deliverance and salvation from orthodox cultural forms, traditions and institutions. Wilson suggests that there are at least seven possible responses to the world and to the ‘problem of evil’within it. He calls these the ‘conversionist’, ‘revolutionist’, ‘introversionist’, ‘manipulationist’, ‘thaumaturgical’, ‘reformist’ and ‘utopian’ responses.

By going beyond the concern with degree of organization and doctrinal heresy it is possible to examine sectarian movements which have arisen outside Christian culture. See also CULT, MILLENARIANISM AND MILLENNIAL MOVEMENT, CARGO CULTS, RELIGION, MAGIC, SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION, NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS.

SECT

On drawings, abbr. for “section.”
References in periodicals archive ?
This clone of anti-human gzmB antibody has been shown to recognize mouse gzmB [24].
To gain insight into the role of gzmA and gzmB in peritonitis and sepsis, we first sought to ascertain the expression of these gzms before and during E.
The cells were stained for cell surface markers after blocking nonspecific antibody binding to the Fc receptors using the FcR Blocking Reagent (Miltenyi, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany), fixed and permeabilised with Cytofix/Cytoperm buffer (BD Biosciences), and stained with the intracellular markers (IL10 and GZMB).
In order to characterise the nature of the infiltrating T cells, the expression of the nuclear transcription factor Tbet (a specific marker of anti-tumour Th1-polarised T cells) and granzyme B (GZMB), which is specific for the cytolytic molecules expressed by activated cytotoxic [CD8.sup.+] T and NK cells, was evaluated (Figure 1).
After 72 h, the expression of activation and functional markers by [CD8.sup.+]T cells was measured by flow cytometry, directly for CD25, CD107a, and CD69 or after an intracellular staining protocol for IFN-[gamma] and granzyme B (GZMB).