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Concluding Observations

Our previous unit on ritual included a consideration of what The Sacred Quest calls the vertical and horizontal nature of worship.  We noted that in worship, rituals build a sense of community among believers and between believers and Ultimate Realityo. Since we have explored this idea previously, we can turn to a few concluding comments.
In this unit we have discovered that the relationship between sacred societies and larger societies is a vast and complex area of study. We have seen the reciprocal relationship between society and religion as well as the ways that one can influence the other.  In addition, we have looked at how religious societies can be classified in terms of their relationship to the dominant culture and religious tradition. The ways that sacred societies reform and divide were also explored.

Later in the course, we will return briefly to the question of Sacred Societies when we consider how these communities function to support specific ways of approaching Ultimate Realityo.