Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown

Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown

Paperback Religion in North America

By (author) David Chidester

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  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 222 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 15mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 25 September 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Bloomington, IN
  • ISBN 10: 025321632X
  • ISBN 13: 9780253216328
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 679,027

Product description

Re-issued in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the mass suicides at Jonestown, this revised edition of David Chidester's path-breaking book features a new prologue that considers the meaning of the tragedy for a post-Waco, post-9/11 world. For Chidester, Jonestown recalls the American religious commitment to redemptive sacrifice, which for Jim Jones meant saving his followers from the evils of capitalist society. "Jonestown is ancient history," writes Chidester, but it does provide us with an opportunity "to reflect upon the strangeness of familiar ...promises of redemption through sacrifice." David Chidester is Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town and author or editor of 20 books, including "American Sacred Space" (IUP, 1995), edited with Edward T. Linenthal, and "Christianity: A Global History".

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Author information

David Chidester is Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town and author or editor of 20 books, including American Sacred Space (IUP, 1995), edited with Edward T. Linenthal, and Christianity: A Global History.

Review quote

Praise for the first edition: "[This] ambitious and courageous book...offers an important benchmark of theology by which questions about the meaningful history of the Peoples Temple may be measured." Journal of the American Academy of Religion "Fascinating... Perhaps this book will bring a sense of humanity, and of respect, for the dreams and ambitions of the people who died [at Jonestown]." San Francisco Chronicle "An impressive tour de force." Religious Studies Review

Table of contents

Foreword by Catherine L. Albanese and Stephen J. SteinPrologue; Introduction: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown; I. Perspectives on an Event; II. The Classifications of Persons; III. Orientation in Space; IV. Orientation in Time; V. Salvation and Suicide; EpilogueAppendix: Preface to the Original Edition; Notes; Index