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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 6, Issue 3, 2018
New Religious Movements and Violence

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents


1. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Massimo Introvigne Introduction—New Religious Movements and Violence: A Typology
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This issue of the JRV is dedicated to case studies illustrating the multiple relationships between new religious movements and violence. In this introduction, I propose a typological investigation of these relationships, distinguishing between acts of violence really perpetrated by NRMs—against their own members, opponents and critics, rival religionists, and the State or society at large—and episodes of violence of which the NRMs are the victims. Finally, I also propose a typology of acts of violence ascribed to NRMs, but of which they are in fact innocent, as the crimes are either imaginary, are not really “crimes,” or have been perpetrated by others, including the public authorities themselves.
articles
2. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Liselotte Frisk “Spiritual Shunning”: Its Significance for the Murder in Knutby Filadelfia
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This paper argues that the practice of “spiritual shunning,” defined as deliberate isolation of one person from a religious group for alleged spiritual reasons, may have been a significant factor in a murder case which happened in Sweden in 2004 in a small religious group with a Pentecostal background. The material consists of interviews with four former members, who describe the process of spiritual shunning as it existed in the group before it started to fall apart in the autumn of 2016. The four interviewees describe the process of spiritual shunning in roughly five stages: how they began to fall out of grace; when the door to Jesus definitely closed; the process of working their way back; being back in grace; and finally having the mission to help others move back to grace again. The informants describe very clearly the desperation they felt when they faced the possibility that they would not belong to the chosen ones when Jesus would soon come back, but would instead be burning in hell. Many sources document that the perpetrator of the crime in 2004 was spiritually shunned by the core group at the time of the murder. The murder was presented to her by the pastor who was later convicted for instigating the crime, as a way to pay off her spiritual debts.
3. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Chas S. Clifton A Texas Witch On Trial
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Although Wicca, or contemporary Pagan witchcraft, is by all definitions a new religious movement, it lacks many of the characteristics the NRMs often display, such as a charismatic founder(s), millenarian prophecies, or new forms of social order. Nor have Wiccans been identified with commonly studied forms of violence with NRMs, such as mass suicides, violence against former members, or attacks on surrounding populations. In 1980, however, as Wicca was on the verge of both a growth spurt and increased media attention, Loy Stone, a leader of one organization, the Church of Wicca, was tried for murder in Texas. The victim, a fifteen-year-old girl, was one of a large group of teenagers who had been committing acts of harassment and vandalism during October 1977 at the farm inhabited by Stone, his wife, and his elderly mother, actions I would categorize as falling into the folkloric definition of “legend trips.” The Stone case makes clear the persistence of abusive stereotypes of “devil-worshipers” in America. Finally, it challenged members of the Wiccan community to decide whether the Stones should be supported or rhetorically cast out.
4. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Massimo Introvigne Gatekeeping and Narratives about “Cult” Violence: The McDonald’s Murder of 2014 in China
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The sociological concept of “gatekeeping,” i.e., of filtering news for several purposes, allowing only some to reach the public, is useful to explain how often only negative news about “cults” are published by mainline media. This theory is illustrated through a case study of the murder of a young woman in a McDonald’s diner in Zhaoyuan, Shandong, China in 2014. The Chinese authorities, who were pursuing a campaign of repression against The Church of Almighty God, successfully allowed only information connecting the murder with that Church to reach the international media. When Western scholars studied the documents of the case, however, they concluded that the homicide had been perpetrated by a different Chinese new religious movement. They also realized that gatekeeping had the perverse effect of focusing the attention on the alleged connection with The Church of Almighty God, leaving outside of the gate essential information that would have allowed a serious study of the small group responsible for the murder, and a comparison with other crimes committed by new religious movements.
book reviews
5. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
James Bonk Guan Yu: The Religious Life of a Failed Hero. Barend J. ter Haar
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6. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Aaron Ricker Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich. Eric Kurlander
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7. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Carla Sulzbach The Many Deaths of Jew Süss: The Notorious Trial and Execution of an Eighteenth-Century Court Jew. Yair Mintzker
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8. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3
Carole M. Cusack Women, Insecurity, and Violence in a Post-9/11 World. Bronwyn Winter
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