Violence and New Religious Movements

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James R. Lewis
Oxford University Press, Apr 6, 2011 - Religion - 456 pages
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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.

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About the author (2011)

James R. Lewis is an extensively published scholar of new religious movements. He currently teaches in the History and Religious Studies Department of the University of Tromsø in Norway. His reference books have won New York Public Library, American Library Association, and Choice book awards. He has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, NPR, the BBC, and Meet the Press.

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