This article presents a case study analysis of recent institutional changes occurring in The Family, a well-known international movement originally called The Children of God. The Family is now flourishing well into its third generation in spite of intense external opposition that portrays it as an insidious cult. During the past ten years since the death of its founder, David Berg, The Family has dramatically changed many of its organizational modes of operation. These new developments have rational democratizing, and worldly accommodation implications that enhance organizational viability and prospects for success, while simultaneously threatening the group's internal standards and moral identity. Family leadership has imposed several retrenchment campaigns on Family homes worldwide to offset what are seen as the corrupting consequences of too much worldly accommodation. Tensions generated by these changes and reactions to them are analyzed in this article within sociological models of religious accommodation. The data for this article were obtained from extensive interviews with Family co-leaders Maria and Peter, and from close readings of key Family documents.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.