Originally posted by PsychoPawn
By sect do you mean cult?
What really is the difference between the two?
actually the difference depends on the different languages :
Dictionary definitions of the term "cult" include at least eight different meanings. These include both classic and unorthodox religious practice, extreme political practice, objects or concepts of intense devotion including popular fashion, and systems for the cure of disease based on dogmatic teachings.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary lists five different definitions of the word "cult."
1. Formal religious veneration
2. A system of religious beliefs and ritual; also: its body of adherents;
3. A religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents;
4. A system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator;
5. Great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book).
The Random House Unabridged Dictionary's eight definitions of "cult" are:
1. A particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies;
2. An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers;
3. The object of such devotion;
4. A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc;
5. Group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols;
6. A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader;
7. The members of such a religion or sect;
8. Any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
Webster's New World College Dictionary defines "cult" as:
1a. a system of religious worship or ritual
1b. a quasi-religious group, often living in a colony, with a charismatic leader who indoctrinates members with unorthodox or extremist views, practices or beliefs
2a. devoted attachment to, or extravagant admiration for, a person, principle or lifestyle, especially when regarded as a fad [the cult of nudism]
2b. the object of such attachment
3. a group of followers, sect
For authoritative British usage, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English definitions of "cult" and "sect" are:
1 a system of religious worship directed towards a particular figure or object.
2 a small religious group regarded as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.
3 something popular or fashionable among a particular section of society.
1 a group of people with different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.
2 a group with extreme or dangerous philosophical or political ideas.
British "sect" formerly included a contextually implied meaning, of what "cult" now means in both USA and the UK. Some other nations still use the foreign equivalents of old British "sect" ("secte," "sekte," or "secta." etc.) to imply "cult." Both words, as well as "cult" in its original sense of cultus (e.g., Middle Ages cult of Mary), must be understood to correctly interpret 20th century popular cult references in world English.