Chapter

Narratives of Persecution, Suffering, and Martyrdom

Rebecca Moore

in Violence and New Religious Movements

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735631
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894512 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735631.003.0004
Narratives of Persecution, Suffering, and Martyrdom

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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

Chapter.  8086 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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