On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in central Texas. One hundred agents armed with automatic and semi automatic weapons invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; four agents were killed, and by the end of the day the settlement was surrounded by armored tanks and combat helicopters. After a fifty-one day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved a plan to use CS gas against those barricaded inside. Whether by accident or plan, tanks carrying the CS gas caused the compound to explode in fire, killing all seventy-four men, women, and children inside. Could the tragedy have been prevented? Was it necesary for the BATF agents to do what they did? What could have been done differently? Armageddon in Waco offers the most detailed, wide-ranging analysis of events surrounding Waco. Leading scholars in sociology, history, law, and religion explore all facets of the confrontation in an attempt to understand one of the most confusing government actions in American history. The book begins with the history of the Branch Davidians and the story of its leader, David Koresh. Chapters show how the Davidians came to trouble authorities, why the group was labeled a "cult," and how authorities used unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse to strengthen their case against the sect. The media's role is examined next in essays that considering the effect on coverage of lack of time and resources, the orchestration of public relations by government officials, the restricted access to the site or to countervailing evidence, and the ideologies of the journalists themselves. Several contributors then explore the relation of violence to religion, comparing Waco to Jonestown. Finally, the role played by "experts" and "consultants" in defining such conflicts is explored by two contributors who had active roles as scholarly experts during and after the siege The legal and consitutional implications of the government's actions are also analyzed in balanced, clearly written detail.
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Examines ways in which the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) has been interpreted 1600-1999.
In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting with communal living, alternative leadership roles, unusual economic dispositions, and new political and ethical values. As a result the general public views new religions with a mixture of curiosity, amusement, and anxiety, sustained by lavish media emphasis on oddness and tragedy rather than familiarity and lived experience. This updated and revised second edition of Controversial New Religions offers a scholarly, dispassionate look at those groups that have generated the most attention, including some very well-known classical groups like The Family, Unification Church, Scientology, and Jim Jones's People's Temple; some relative newcomers such as the Kabbalah Centre, the Order of the Solar Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, and the Falun Gong; and some interesting cases like contemporary Satanism, the Raelians, Black nationalism, and various Pagan groups. Each essay combines an overview of the history and beliefs of each organization or movement with original and insightful analysis. By presenting decades of scholarly work on new religious movements written in an accessible form by established scholars as well as younger experts in the field, this book will be an invaluable resource for all those who seek a view of new religions that is deeper than what can be found in sensationalistic media stories.
Thoroughly updated and greatly expanded from its original edition, this three-volume set is the go-to comprehensive resource on the legal, social, psychological, political, and public health aspects of guns in American life. • 450 alphabetically organized entries, including 100 new for this edition, covering key issues (suicide, video games and gun violence, firearm injury statistics) and events (workplace shootings, the Virginia Tech massacre) • 102 expert contributors from all academic fields involved in studying the causes and effects of gun violence • A chronology of pivotal moments and controversies in the history of firearm ownership and use in the United States • An exhaustive bibliography of print and online resources covering all aspects of the study of guns in the United States • Appendices on federal gun laws, state gun laws, and pro- and anti-gun-control organizations
Study of church and state in the United States is incredibly complex. Scholars working in this area have backgrounds in law, religious studies, history, theology, and politics, among other fields. Historically, they have focused on particular angles or dimensions of the church-state relationship, because the field is so vast. The results have mostly been monographs that focus only on narrow cross-sections of the field, and the few works that do aim to give larger perspectives are reference works of factual compendia, which offer little or no analysis. The Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States fills this gap, presenting an extensive, multidimensional overview of the field. Twenty-one essays offer a scholarly look at the intricacies and past and current debates that frame the American system of church and state, within five main areas: history, law, theology/philosophy, politics, and sociology. These essays provide factual accounts, but also address issues, problems, debates, controversies, and, where appropriate, suggest resolutions. They also offer analysis of the range of interpretations of the subject offered by various American scholars. This Handbook is an invaluable resource for the study of church-state relations in the United States.
Apocalypse Observed is about religious violence. By analyzing five of the most notorious cults of recent years, the authors present a fascinating and revealing account of religious sects and conflict. Cults covered include: * the apocalypse at Jonestown * the Branch Davidians at Waco * the violent path of Aum Shinrikyo * the mystical apocalypse of the Solar Temple * the mass suicide of Heaven's Gate. Through comparative case studies and in-depth analysis, the authors show how religious violence can erupt not simply from the beliefs of the cult followers or the personalities of their leaders, but also from the way in which society responds to the cults in its midst.
New Religious Movements: A Guide for the Perplexed examines the phenomenon of new faiths and alternative spiritualities which has become a feature of the contemporary world. Those interested in the spiritual dimension to life are no longer limited to the major world faiths, but can draw upon a rapidly-expanding range of new religions. Some of these are derived from the major religions, some are a re-working of ancient traditions, while others signify a completely new departure in spiritual experience. This book analyses the concepts we use to discuss new religions, and surveys a range of different movements which were established in the second half of the 20th century. Paul Oliver explores the organization of the movements, and the psychological aspects of life within them; the distribution of power and authority within movements; the position of women in relation to such organizations, and finally, the nature of the evolution and expansion of such movements in relation to post-modern society. This book is ideal for students wishing to understand the more perplexing elements of this contemporary phenomenon.
New religious movements such as the Moonies, Jehovah's Witnesses and Hare Krishnas are now well established in mainstream cultural consciousness. But responses to these 'cult' groups still tend to be overwhelmingly negative, characterized by the furious reactions that they evoke from majority interests. Modern societies need to learn how best to respond to such movements, and how to interpret their benefits and dangers. Researching New Religious Movements provides a cutting-edge analysis of the controversy around new religions in America and Europe today. Drawing on original fieldwork, it explores the battles between the recruiting factions of groups like the Moonies, and the anti-cult movements and Church societies that have mobilized to oppose these. It considers academic and media interventions on both sides, placing special emphasis on the problems of objectivity inherent in the language of 'sects', 'abduction' and 'brainwashing'. Ideal for students, researchers and professionals, this provocative and much-needed book takes the debate over new religious movements to a newly sophisticated level.
God Speaks His Word Straight Into The Hearts Of Men And Women. The Word Of God Is Alive And Active Today In The Lives Of Millions. With the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as his singular focus, Billy Graham faithfully, passionately, and unapologetically preached God’s Word for more than seventy years. At the age of ninety-two, during an exclusive Fox News interview in 2010, Dr. Graham told Greta van Susteren, “I have a tremendous amount of hope for the future because of Jesus Christ.” In this stunning collection of quotes by Billy Graham comes a historic anthology covering seven decades of ministry, drawing from both his published and personal works. These pages are filled with hope, truth, and redemption and seek the hearts of a lost people who need God now more than ever. Today we are putting our hopes in materialism, in technological progress, and in freedom from moral absolutes. They have all failed. They have failed because they have been powerless to change the human heart. Join Billy Graham as he seeks to bring God’s Word to the heart of daily life. Reconnect and be drawn like never before. “Hearing Billy Graham express hope for the world gives me hope that my life can be worthwhile,” comments one twenty-two-year-old. Arranged topically for easy reference, Billy Graham in Quotes provides insight on more than one hundred topics anchored in Scripture. This gifted evangelist takes the focus off of the messenger and shines the Light on the Message of God’s Word. Earth’s troubles fade in the light of heaven’s hope.
Alternative religious groups have had a profound influence on American history-they have challenged the old and opened up new ways of thinking about healing, modes of meaning, religious texts and liturgies, the social and political order, and the relationships between religion and race, class, gender, and region. Virtually always, the dramatic, dynamic history of alternative religions runs parallel to that of dissent in America. Communities of Dissent is an evenhanded and marvelously lively history of New Religious Movements in America. Stephen J. Stein describes the evolution and structure of alternative religious movements from both sides: the critics and the religious dissenters themselves. Providing a fascinating look at a wide range of New Religious Movements, he investigates obscure groups such as the 19th-century Vermont Pilgrims, who wore bearskins and refused to bathe or cut their hair, alongside better-known alternative believers, including colonial America's largest outsider faith, the Quakers; 17th- and 18th-century Mennonites, Amish, and Shakers; and the Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Black Muslims, and Scientologists of today. Accessible and comprehensive, Communities of Dissent also covers the milestones in the history of alternative American religions, from the infamous Salem witch trials and mass suicide/murder at Jonestown to the positive ways in which alternative religions have affected racial relations, the empowerment of women, and American culture in general.