Beyond Brainwashing

Perspectives on Cultic Violence

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Rebecca Moore
Elements in Religion and Violence
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , May
     86 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Taylor Dean forthcoming.


This analysis reviews the state of the question regarding theories of cultic violence. It introduces definitions and vocabulary and presents relevant historical examples of religious violence. It then discusses the 1960s and 1970s, the period immediately before the Jonestown tragedy. Considerations of the post-Jonestown (1978), and then post-Waco (1993) literature follow. After 9/11 (2001), some of the themes identified in previous decades reappear. The book concludes by examining the current problem of repression and harassment directed at religious believers. Legal discrimination by governments, as well as persecution of religious minorities by non-state actors, has challenged earlier fears about cultic violence.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Rebecca Moore is Professor of Religious Studies at San Diego State University.

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