Why Waco? Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America

ISBN-10: 0520208994

ISBN-13: 9780520208995

Edition: N/A

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Description: The 1993 government assault on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, resulted in the deaths of four federal agents and eighty Branch Davidians, including seventeen children. Whether these tragic deaths could have been avoided is still debatable, but what seems clear is that the events in Texas have broad implications for religious freedom in America. James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher's bold examination of the Waco story offers the first balanced account of the siege. They try to understand what really happened in Waco: What brought the Branch Davidians to Mount Carmel? Why did the government attack? How did the media affect events? The authors address the accusations of illegal weapons possession, strange sexual practices, and child abuse that were made against David Koresh and his followers. Without attempting to excuse such actions, they point out that the public has not heard the complete story and that many media reports were distorted. The authors have carefully studied the Davidian movement, analyzing the theology and biblical interpretation that were so central to the group's functioning. They also consider how two decades of intense activity against so-called cults have influenced public perceptions of unorthodox religions. In exploring our fear of unconventional religious groups and how such fear curtails our ability to tolerate religious differences,Why Waco?is an unsettling wake-up call. Using the events at Mount Carmel as a cautionary tale, the authors challenge all Americans, including government officials and media representatives, to closely examine our national commitment to religious freedom.

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/19/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 268
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

James D. Tabor is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989. He has previously held positions at the University of Notre Dame and the College of William and Mary. He is the author of several previous books, includingThe Jesus Dynasty.nbsp; His first book was a study of the mysticism of the apostle Paul titledThings Unutterable(1986), based on his University of Chicago dissertation. The prestigiousJournal of Religionnamed it one of the ten best scholarly studies on Paul of the 1980s.Dr. Tabor's current research involves the newly released Dead Sea Scrolls; a recent excavation in which he participated (2000-01) at a newly discovered cave outside Jerusalem, which yielded primitive Jewish-Christian art related to St. John the Baptist -- a discovery that drew international attention, including a cover story inNewsweek. In addition, Dr. Tabor is often consulted by the national media, and has appeared of has been quoted inTime, Newsweek, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times,ABC, CBS, and PBS "Frontline," among other outlets. He has also been featured in programs on A&E, The History Channel, Discovery Channel, and PBS.nbsp;He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Preface
Acknowledgments
What Might Have Been
Moving to Mount Carmel
Unlocking the Seven Seals
The Sinful Messiah
A Complex Hostage
Barricade Rescue Situation
The Wacko from Waco
The Cult Controversy
Waco and Religious Freedom in America
Appendix: An Unfinished Manuscript
Notes
A Note on Sources
Index List of Mount Carmel Branch Davidians Illustrations following
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