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Violence and New Religious Movements$
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James R. Lewis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735631.001.0001

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Narratives of Persecution, Suffering, and Martyrdom

Narratives of Persecution, Suffering, and Martyrdom

Violence in Peoples Temple and Jonestown

(p.95) 4 Narratives of Persecution, Suffering, and Martyrdom
Violence and New Religious Movements

Rebecca Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Among other things, the Jonestown murder-suicide tragedy established a point of reference for all subsequent discussions of violence and NRMs. The chapter begins by presenting a brief history of Peoples Temple and the events that led up to the final day in Jonestown. It discusses examples of four types of violence that existed in the Peoples Temple. It then looks at the rhetoric of persecution, suffering, and martyrdom that prevailed within the group. The chapter examines other studies of violence in Peoples Temple and considers analyses of contemporary religious violence. Finally, it examines the world stage upon which the drama was enacted: the players, the goals, and the ultimate purpose in the decision to die.

Keywords:   Peoples Temple, Jonestown, mass suicide, Jim Jones, cult violence

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