The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements

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David G. Bromley
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Religion - 244 pages

The current controversy surrounding new religions has brought to the forefront the role of apostates. These individuals leave highly controversial movements and assume roles in other organizations as public opponents against their former movements. This volume examines the motivations of the apostates, how they are recruited and play out their roles, the kinds of narratives they construct to discredit their previous groups, and the impact of apostasy on the outcome of conflicts between movements and society.

 

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Contents

Sociological Perspectives on Apostasy An Overview
A Comparative Approach to Organizational Exit
13
The Social Construction of Contested Exit Roles Defectors Whistleblowers and Apostates
15
The Apostate Role and Career
45
Apostasy and the Management of Spoiled Identity
47
Standing at the CrossRoads The Politics of Marginality in Subversive Organizations
71
Exploring Factors That Shape the Apostate Role
91
Apostates Who Never Were The Social Construction of Absque Facto Apostate Narratives
111
Apostasy Apocalypse and Religious Violence An Exploratory Comparison of Peoples Temple the Branch Davidians and the Solar Temple
137
Apostates Whistleblowers Law and Social Control
167
Apostates and Their Role in the Construction of Grievance Claims Against the Northeast KingdomMessianic Communities
187
The Role of Apostates in the North American Anticult Movement
205
Methodological Issues in the Study of Apostasy
215
Carriers of Tales On Assessing Credibility of Apostate and Other Outsider Accounts of Religious Practices
217
Index
235
About the Contributors
237

The Organizational Context of Apostasy
135

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About the author (1998)

DAVID G. BROMLEY is Professor of Sociology and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the past editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Among his recent books are The Satanism Scare (1991), edited with James Richardson and Joel Best, Handbook on Cults and Sects in America (1993), edited with Jeffrey K. Hadden, and Anticult Movements in Cross-Cultural Perspective (1994), edited with Anson Shupe.

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