Skip to main content

Investigating the Sect-Church-Sect Cycle: Cohort-Specific Attendance Differences Across African-American Denominations

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Varying religious commitment across generations plays a key role in explaining transitions from sect to church, and the formation of sectarian movements. Within a sect, elite members of younger generations are seen to spur internal secularization that transforms otherworldly sects into world-affirming churches. In this paper I examine how cohort differences in religious commitment across denominations evidence the sect-church transformation process, and point to sources of sect formation among African-Americans. Using data from the 1972–1998 General Social Surveys, I analyze denomination-specific cohort differences in religious participation among African-Americans. Cohort-specific shifts in religious participation across denominations demonstrate the secularization of African-American mainline Methodist and Baptist groups, the continued vitality of sectarian denominations, and the nascent ascendance of “nondenominational” churches on the fringes of the religious marketplace.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

Publication date: June 1, 2001

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more