In sociology, elite religion is defined as the symbols, rituals and beliefs which are recognized as legitimate by the leadership of that religion.
Elite religion is often contrasted with folk religion, or the religious symbols and beliefs of the masses. Elite religion is then the "official religion" as championed by the leaders of a religion.
Sociologist Charles Liebman theorized that the strengthening of elite religion over members of a particular group led to the growth of denominationalism.
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