Salvation and Suicide
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Salvation and Suicide : An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown

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Praise for the first edition:"[This] ambitious and courageous book [is a] benchmark of theology by which questions about the meaningful history of the Peoples Temple may be measured." -Journal of the American Academy of ReligionRe-issued in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the mass suicides at Jonestown, this revised edition of David Chidester's pathbreaking 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."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised ed.
  • 1 index
  • 025321632X
  • 9780253216328
  • 598,224

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 Reviewshow more

About David Chidester

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.show more

Table of contents

FOREWORD BY CATHERINE L. ALBANESE AND STEPHEN J. STEINPREFACEIntroduction: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and JonestownI. PERSPECTIVES ON AN EVENT1. Death and Rituals of Exclusion and Inclusion2. Cognitive Distancing3. Religiohistorical InterpretationII. THE CLASSIFICATION OF PERSONS1. Superhuman2. Subhuman3. HumanIII. ORIENTATION IN SPACE1. Cosmic Space2. Geographic Space3. Body SpaceIV. ORIENTATION IN TIME1. Cosmic Time2. Historical Time3. Body TimeV. SALVATION AND SUICIDE1. Religious Suicide2. White Nights3. The EndEpilogueNOTESINDEXshow more

Rating details

107 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 32% (34)
4 44% (47)
3 21% (22)
2 3% (3)
1 1% (1)
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