From the Ashes : Making Sense of Waco

Overview

In 45 short essays aimed at a broad audience, the contributors to From the Ashes place the Branch Davidians in historical and comparative perspective with nontraditional religions, analyze the government's handling of the Waco confrontation, assess the media's coverage and public response, and provide an overview of responses from the academic and religious community. Although the contributors represent a wide variety of viewpoints, they are united in the belief that the 89 deaths could have been avoided and that...

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Overview

In 45 short essays aimed at a broad audience, the contributors to From the Ashes place the Branch Davidians in historical and comparative perspective with nontraditional religions, analyze the government's handling of the Waco confrontation, assess the media's coverage and public response, and provide an overview of responses from the academic and religious community. Although the contributors represent a wide variety of viewpoints, they are united in the belief that the 89 deaths could have been avoided and that the popular demonization of nontraditional religious movements in the aftermath of Waco represents a continuing threat to freedom of religion. Contributors include: Dick Anthony, Michael Barkun, James Beckford, Col. Charlie Beckwith, Eldridge Cleaver, Dean M. Kelly, Franklin H. Littell, and Thomas Robbins.

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Editorial Reviews

Christianity Today
The essays, articles, editorials, and letters contained in this disturbing book raise a number of pointed questions about the Waco incident—questions that were not resolved by the official investigation.
Journal Of Psychology and Theology
But this book, happily is not slow journalism, but fast scholarship....the essays here are quite insightful...
Choice
Designed for the general reader, the essays on the religion of the Davidians are especially helpful....
Religious Studies Review - Alexis Strachan
This book represents an ideal case-study for surveying contemporary and historical examples of nontraditional religious movements.
CHOICE
Designed for the general reader, the essays on the religion of the Davidians are especially helpful....
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847679140
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/29/1994
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

James R. Lewis is Academic Director of the Association of World Academics for Religious Education.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Responses to the Branch Davidian Tragedy
Ch. 1 The Crime of Piety: Wounded Knee to Waco 1
Ch. 2 Misinterpreting Religious Commitment 7
Ch. 3 Tailhook and Waco: A Commentary 11
Understanding the Branch Davidians
Ch. 4 The Waco Tragedy: An Autobiographical Account of One Attempt to Avert Disaster 13
Ch. 5 The Davidian Dilemma - To Obey God or Man? 23
Ch. 6 The Davidian Tradition 33
Millennialism and the Waco Confrontation
Ch. 7 Reflections after Waco: Millennialists and the State 41
Ch. 8 The Millennial Dream 51
Ch. 9 Varieties of Millennialism and the Issue of Authority 55
Law Enforcement and Tactical Assessments
Ch. 10 Cult Label Made Waco Violence Inevitable 63
Ch. 11 What Went Wrong in Waco? Poor Planning, Bad Tactics Result in Botched Raid 67
Ch. 12 Killed by Semantics: Or Was It a Keystone Kop Kaleidoscope Kaper? 71
Ch. 13 Showdown at the Waco Corral: ATF Cowboys Shoot Themselves in the Foot 87
Ch. 14 Misguided Tactics Contributed to Apocalypse in Waco 95
Mass Suicide?
Ch. 15 Excavating Waco 99
Ch. 16 Who Started the Fires? Mass Murder, American Style 111
Ch. 17 Fanning the Flames of Suspicion: The Case against Mass Suicide at Waco 115
The Role of the Anti-cult Movement
Ch. 18 The Mythology of Cults 121
Ch. 19 "Cults," "Mind Control," and the State 125
Ch. 20 The Cult Awareness Network: Its Role in the Waco Tragedy 137
Dynamics and Impact of the Media
Ch. 21 The Media and New Religious Movements 143
Ch. 22 Television and Metaphysics at Waco 150
Ch. 23 Waco and the War of the Worlds: Media Fantasy and Modern Reality 157
Polygamy and Accusations of Child Abuse
Ch. 24 A More Righteous Seed: A Comparison of Polygamy among the Branch Davidians and the Fundamentalist Mormons 165
Ch. 25 Who Committed Child Abuse at Waco? 169
Ch. 26 Suffer the Little Children 175
Academic Reflections
Ch. 27 Lessons from Waco: When Will We Ever Learn? 181
Ch. 28 Why Did Waco Happen? 185
Ch. 29 Reflections on the Waco Disaster: Trying to Make Sense of Insane Events 189
Ch. 30 Deconstructing Waco 197
Ch. 31 Did the G-men Sleep through SOC 100? 201
Ch. 32 Reflections on the Tragedy at Waco 205
Ch. 33 How Future Wacos Might Be Avoided: Two Proposals 209
Ch. 34 Sticks'n Stones May Break Your Bones but Words Can Really Hurt You 213
Selected Responses
Ch. 35 Christian Holocaust 215
Ch. 36 Open Season on Messiahs? 217
Ch. 37 Waco Probe Should Not Be Used to Define Religion 221
Ch. 38 A New Religious Movement's Response to the Waco Tragedy 223
Ch. 39 Church Universal and Triumphant Not Like Branch Davidians 225
Ch. 40 FBI Uses "Cults" as Bait 229
Ch. 41 Waco: Bill Clinton's Bay of Pigs 235
Selected Letters to Public Officials
Ch. 42 Letter to President Clinton 237
Ch. 43 Letter to Donald Edwards 241
Ch. 44 Letter to Jack Brooks 245
Ch. 45 Letter to Janet Reno 247
Ch. 46 Letter to Donald Edwards 251
Epilogue: A Fiery Ending 253
Index 261
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