Salvation and Suicide

Author: David Chidester
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253216328
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Praise for the first edition: "[This] ambitious and courageous book [is a] benchmark of theology by which questions about the meaningful history of the Peoples Temple may be measured." —Journal of the American Academy of Religion Re-issued in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the mass suicides at Jonestown, this revised edition of David Chidester's pathbreaking book features a new prologue that considers the meaning of the tragedy for a post-Waco, post-9/11 world. For Chidester, Jonestown recalls the American religious commitment to redemptive sacrifice, which for Jim Jones meant saving his followers from the evils of capitalist society. "Jonestown is ancient history," writes Chidester, but it does provide us with an opportunity "to reflect upon the strangeness of familiar... promises of redemption through sacrifice."

Salvation and Suicide

Author: David Chidester
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253112745
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Praise for the first edition: "[This] ambitious and courageous book [is a] benchmark of theology by which questions about the meaningful history of the Peoples Temple may be measured." —Journal of the American Academy of Religion Re-issued in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the mass suicides at Jonestown, this revised edition of David Chidester’s pathbreaking book features a new prologue that considers the meaning of the tragedy for a post-Waco, post-9/11 world. For Chidester, Jonestown recalls the American religious commitment to redemptive sacrifice, which for Jim Jones meant saving his followers from the evils of capitalist society. "Jonestown is ancient history," writes Chidester, but it does provide us with an opportunity "to reflect upon the strangeness of familiar... promises of redemption through sacrifice."

Authentic Fakes

Author: David Chidester
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520242807
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"In this dazzling book, Chidester moves effortlessly and insightfully between the serious and solemn and the playful and humorous. The case studies are so very fresh and interesting, and he brings a wonderfully nuanced eye to the material."—Edward T. Linenthal, author of The Unfinished Bombing "Chidester's analysis of popular religion and culture is the most extensive and penetrating that exists."—Wade Clark Roof, author of Spiritual Marketplace "This book is impressively wide-ranging in the scope of its discussion, adding a global dimension for a vantage point that makes it quite unique."—Bruce Forbes, coeditor of Religion and Popular Culture in America

Why Waco

Author: James D. Tabor
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520919181
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The 1993 government assault on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, resulted in the deaths of four federal agents and eighty Branch Davidians, including seventeen children. Whether these tragic deaths could have been avoided is still debatable, but what seems clear is that the events in Texas have broad implications for religious freedom in America. James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher's bold examination of the Waco story offers the first balanced account of the siege. They try to understand what really happened in Waco: What brought the Branch Davidians to Mount Carmel? Why did the government attack? How did the media affect events? The authors address the accusations of illegal weapons possession, strange sexual practices, and child abuse that were made against David Koresh and his followers. Without attempting to excuse such actions, they point out that the public has not heard the complete story and that many media reports were distorted. The authors have carefully studied the Davidian movement, analyzing the theology and biblical interpretation that were so central to the group's functioning. They also consider how two decades of intense activity against so-called cults have influenced public perceptions of unorthodox religions. In exploring our fear of unconventional religious groups and how such fear curtails our ability to tolerate religious differences, Why Waco? is an unsettling wake-up call. Using the events at Mount Carmel as a cautionary tale, the authors challenge all Americans, including government officials and media representatives, to closely examine our national commitment to religious freedom.

Violence and New Religious Movements

Author: James R. Lewis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199831319
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The relationship between new religious movements (NRMs) and violence has long been a topic of intense public interest--an interest heavily fueled by multiple incidents of mass violence involving certain groups. Some of these incidents have made international headlines. When New Religious Movements make the news, it's usually because of some violent episode. Some of the most famous NRMs are known much more for the violent way they came to an end than for anything else. Violence and New Religious Movements offers a comprehensive examination of violence by-and against-new religious movements. The book begins with theoretical essays on the relationship between violence and NRMs and then moves on to examine particular groups. There are essays on the "Big Five"--the most well-known cases of violent incidents involving NRMs: Jonestown, Waco, Solar Temple, the Aum Shunrikyo subway attack, and the Heaven's Gate suicides. But the book also provides a richer survey by examining a host of lesser-known groups. This volume is the culmination of decades of research by scholars of New Religious Movements.

End of Days

Author: Wendell G. Johnson
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440839417
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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End of Days: An Encyclopedia of the Apocalypse in World Religions describes apocalyptic writings in the world's major religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The cross-referenced entries address ancient traditions--Zoroastrianism, as one example--as well as modern apocalyptic movements, such as Arun Shinrikyo, the Branch Davidians, and the Order of the Solar Temple. This book's broad scope offers coverage of overlooked traditions, such as Mayan Apocalyptic, Norse Apocalyptic, Native American eschatological literatures, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Readers seeking detailed information on the eschatological and apocalyptic movements and proponents of End Times can reference entries about individuals such as Harold Camping, Jerry Falwell, David Koresh of the Brand Davidians, and James Jones and the People's Temple. This single-volume encyclopedia also contains numerous historical entries on subjects such as the Great Disappointment, the Great Awakening periods of religious revival, Joachim of Flora, the Maccabean Revolt, and the Plymouth Brethren. The influence of apocalyptic ideas far outside the realm of religion itself is documented through entries on film, including well-known modern movies such as The Hunger Games and Apocalypse Now, literature by writers such as Dante, and works of fine art like Wagner's Gotterdammerung. The inclusion of entries related to literature, film, and other art forms further attests to the wide-ranging social influence of belief in the end of days.

Tradition in a Rootless World

Author: Lynn Davidman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520075455
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"[Davidman's] rich ethnographic observations and lucid prose illuminate two of the more important aspects of modern religion generally: the changing role of women and the resurgence of traditional faith."—Robert Wuthnow, author of Meaning and Moral Order

The Price of Monotheism

Author: Jan Assmann
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 080477286X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Nothing has so radically transformed the world as the distinction between true and false religion. In this nuanced consideration of his own controversial Moses the Egyptian, renowned Egyptologist Jan Assmann answers his critics, extending and building upon ideas from his previous book. Maintaining that it was indeed the Moses of the Hebrew Bible who introduced the true-false distinction in a permanent and revolutionary form, Assmann reiterates that the price of this monotheistic revolution has been the exclusion, as paganism and heresy, of everything deemed incompatible with the truth it proclaims. This exclusion has exploded time and again into violence and persecution, with no end in sight. Here, for the first time, Assmann traces the repeated attempts that have been made to do away with this distinction since the early modern period. He explores at length the notions of primary versus secondary religions, of "counter-religions," and of book religions versus cultic religions. He also deals with the entry of ethics into religion's very core. Informed by the debate his own work has generated, he presents a compelling lesson in the fluidity of cultural identity and beliefs.