Millennialism, Persecution and Violence: Historical Cases

Overview

The year 2000 has created an intense expectation in American history. Since Jonestown and, even more so Waco, millennialist religious groups have been recognized as a major challenge to social control and law enforcement. In this book, a cross-cultural volume, Catherine Wessinger reveals three patterns within millennial groups that are not mutually exclusive: assaulted millennial groups that are attacked by outsiders who fear and misunderstand the religion, fragile millennial groups that initiate violence to ...
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Overview

The year 2000 has created an intense expectation in American history. Since Jonestown and, even more so Waco, millennialist religious groups have been recognized as a major challenge to social control and law enforcement. In this book, a cross-cultural volume, Catherine Wessinger reveals three patterns within millennial groups that are not mutually exclusive: assaulted millennial groups that are attacked by outsiders who fear and misunderstand the religion, fragile millennial groups that initiate violence to preserve the religious goal, and revolutionary, millennial groups possessing an ideology that sanctions violence.

These essays bring academic expertise to bear on the operation of social order and in aiding law enforcement agencies. The book sets an agenda for academics and policy makers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Wessinger (history of religions, Loyola U.) presents 18 papers that explore three interrelated patterns of some millennial religious movements: violence by outsiders, the initiation of violence to preserve religious goals, and millennial ideologies that sanction violence. Among the various groups treated in the articles are the Mormons, the Branch Davidians at Waco, the Maoists of the Great Leap Forward, Rastafarians, the People's Temple at Jonestown, and the Khmer Rouge. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815605997
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Series: Religion and Politics Series
  • Edition description: INDEXED
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Contributors
Introduction: The Interacting Dynamics of Millennial Beliefs, Persecution, and Violence 3
1 Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: The Mormons 43
2 From Vision to Violence: The Wounded Knee Massacre 62
3 "Theology Is Life and Death": David Koresh on Violence, Persecution, and the Millennium 82
4 Shooting Dreads on Sight: Violence, Persecution, Millennialism, and Dominica's Dread Act 101
5 "American as Cherry Pie": Peoples Temple and Violence in America 121
6 The Magic of Death: The Suicides of the Solar Temple 138
7 Imagined Persecution: Aum Shinrikyo, Millennialism, and the Legitimation of Violence 158
8 Millenarian Tragedies in South Africa: The Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement and the Bulhock Massacre 185
9 Apocalypse, Persecution, and Self-Immolation: Mass Suicides among the Old Believers in Late-Seventeenth-Century Russia 205
10 Western Millennial Ideology Goes East: The Taiping Revolution and Mao's Great Leap Forward 220
11 Nazism as a Millennialist Movement 241
12 Japanese Lotus Millennialism: From Militant Nationalism to Contemporary Peace Movements 261
13 Time, Authority, and Ethics in the Khmer Rouge: Elements of the Millennial Vision in Year Zero 281
14 Real Paranoids Have Real Enemies: The Genesis of the ZOG Discourse in the American National Socialist Subculture 299
15 The Justus Freemen Standoff: The Importance of the Analysis of Religion in Avoiding Violent Outcomes 323
16 A Brief History of Millennialism and Suggestions for a New Paradigm for Use in Critical Incidents: A Presentation to the Los Angels Police Department 347
Afterword: Millennial Violence in Contemporary America 352
Bibliography 367
Index 391
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