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Violence and New Religious Movements
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Violence and New Religious Movements

James R. Lewis


The connection between cults and violence has been a topic of intense public interest that has been fueled by dramatic incidents of mass violence involving certain new religious movements (NRMs). Those that have made international headlines include the Jonestown murder-suicides, the ATF/FBI raid on the Mount Carmel community, the Solar Temple murder-suicides, the Tokyo subway poison-gas attack in 1995, and the Heaven’s Gate suicides. The earliest approaches to NRM-related violence focused on the personality of the leader and emphasized the role of the group’s totalistic organization. More rece ... More

Keywords: violence, cults, sects, new religious movements, group suicide

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199735631
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735631.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James R. Lewis, editor
University of Tromso, Norway