Cult  

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This page Cult is part of the Christianity series.Illustration: Triumph of Christianity (detail) by Tommaso Laureti (1530-1602.)
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This page Cult is part of the Christianity series.
Illustration: Triumph of Christianity (detail) by Tommaso Laureti (1530-1602.)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
This article gives a general cultural account of "cult". For its usage in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" see Cult (religious practice). For religious groups with modern origins see New religious movement. For religion in general see Religion. For other uses see Cult (disambiguation).

The word cult in current popular usage is a pejorative term for a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre by the larger society.

Usage of the word has been controversial. One reason is that the word "cult" (as used in the pejorative sense) is considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with simply differing doctrines or practices, and without a clear or consistent definition.

The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The word was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a divinity and borrowed via the French culte from Latin cultus "worship", from the adjective cultus "inhabited, cultivated, worshipped", derived from the verb colere "care, cultivate."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cult" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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