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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Explaining the Murder-Suicides of the Order of the Solar Temple

Explaining the Murder-Suicides of the Order of the Solar Temple

A Survey of Hypotheses

(p.133) 6 Explaining the Murder-Suicides of the Order of the Solar Temple
Violence and New Religious Movements

Henrik Bogdan

Oxford University Press

The Order of the Solar Temple caught the attention of the public in October 1994, when fifty-three of its members in Switzerland and Quebec were murdered or committed suicide. When these tragic events were followed by two group suicides, the Solar Temple quickly became one of the most notorious and discussed “cults.” This chapter surveys the most important scholarly theories on the violence of the Solar Temple. It also addresses the broader discussion of sects and violence and uses the Solar Temple as a case study.

Keywords:   Order of the Solar Temple, Joseph Di Mambro, Luc Jouret, Western esotericism, neotemplarism, rituals, catastrophic millennialism, external opposition, internal dissent, charismatic authority

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