Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History

3.54 avg rating
( 74 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780195127447: Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History

In Mystics and Messiahs--the first full account of cults and anti-cult scares in American history--Philip Jenkins shows that, contrary to popular belief, cults were by no means an invention of the 1960s. In fact, most of the frightening images and stereotypes surrounding fringe religious movements are traceable to the mid-nineteenth century when Mormons, Freemasons, and even Catholics were denounced for supposed ritualistic violence, fraud, and sexual depravity. But America has also been the home of an often hysterical anti-cult backlash. Jenkins offers an insightful new analysis of why cults arouse such fear and hatred both in the secular world and in mainstream churches, many of which were themselves originally regarded as cults. He argues that an accurate historical perspective is urgently needed if we are to avoid the kind of catastrophic confrontation that occurred in Waco or the ruinous prosecution of imagined Satanic cults that swept the country in the 1980s.

Without ignoring genuine instances of aberrant behavior, Mystics and Messiahs goes beyond the vast edifice of myth, distortion, and hype to reveal the true characteristics of religious fringe movements and why they inspire such fierce antagonism.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:


Philip Jenkins, one of the world's leading religion scholars joined Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion as Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A fascinating look at the importance of the religious fringe in American life. Jenkins (History & Religious Studies/Penn State Univ.; Pedophiles and Priests, not reviewed) argues convincingly that cults and new religions are significant social and cultural contributors to the healthy development of society. Present-day groups should be seen in historical perspective because they have their core beliefs rooted in 19th- or early-20th-century movements. Other generally accepted practices (such as female clergy and charismatic worship) or those still considered unorthodox (such as polygamy), have their origins in earlier Christian sects or non-Christian fringe religions. These new beliefs develop because the needs of people are not being satisfied by the established churches. The religious mainstream reject the new groups because of their own fears of the new, of the other, and of competition. It is no trite observation for Jenkins to point to the astounding growth in size and respectability of such sects as the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), Baptists, and Pentecostalsall of whom were considered invidious in their early years but are now mainstream religions. Without denying that many new religious groups have engaged in morally suspect or legally questionable activities, Jenkins maintains that these have been a small minority. Governmental organizations and established clergy have usually combined with a fervent muckraking press to misrepresent new sects as dangerous. They also frequently mislabel them as ``cults,'' a once respectable term that is now pejorative. The rights of individuals to believe and take part in what are characterized as cults is now legally guaranteed because once marginalized groups (such as the Jehovah's Witnesses) won in court the constitutional right to their way of worship. But as recent events (such as the Waco killings) demonstrate, ignorance and the quick stereotyping of cults according to the worst examples (e.g., Jonestown) by religious and secular authorities may have disastrous results. A fresh and thoughtful analysis that sheds much-needed light on an often overheated phenomenon. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Philip Jenkins
Published by Oxford University Press, USA (2000)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Philip Jenkins
Published by Oxford University Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Jenkins, Philip
Published by Oxford University Press (2017)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # P110195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 39.37
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Jenkins, Philip
Published by Oxford University Press (2016)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. PRINT ON DEMAND Book; New; Publication Year 2016; Not Signed; Fast Shipping from the UK. No. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780195127447_lsuk

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 42.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.14
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Philip Jenkins
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Are religious fringe movements a recent phenomeon in American history? Are widespread fears of mass suicides, sexual abuse, and brainwashing in cults justified? Do marginalized religious groups play any positive role in American spiritual life? Do the panics over such groups follow any discernible pattern? Phillip Jenkins gives fascinating-and surprising-answers to these and many other questions in Mystics and Messiahs, the first full account of cults and anti-cult scares in American history. Jenkins shows that, contrary to popular belief, cults were by no means an invention of the 1960s. In fact, most of the frightening images and stereotypes surrounding fringe religious movements are traceable to the mid-nineteenth century when Mormons, Freemasons, and even Catholics were vehemently denounced for supposed ritualistic violence, fraud, and sexual depravity. As Charles Ferguson observed in 1928, America has always been the sanctuary of amazing cults. But America has also been the home of an often hysterical anti-cult backlash. Jenkins provides an insightful new analysis of why cults arouse such fear and hatred both in the secular world and in mainstream churches, many of which-Baptists, Quakers, Pentecostals, and Methodists-were themselves originally regarded as cults. Most importantly, Jenkins argues that an accurate historical perspective is urgently needed if we are to avoid the kind of catastrophic confrontation that occurred in Waco or the ruinous prosecution of imagined Satanic cults in the 1980s. While not ignoring genuine instances of aberrant behaviour, Mystics and Messiahs goes beyond the vast edifice of myth, distortion, and hype to reveal the true characteristics of religious fringe movements and why they inspire such fierce antagonism. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 57.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Jenkins, Philip
Published by OUP USA (2000)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description OUP USA, 2000. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 54.68
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Philip Jenkins
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Are religious fringe movements a recent phenomeon in American history? Are widespread fears of mass suicides, sexual abuse, and brainwashing in cults justified? Do marginalized religious groups play any positive role in American spiritual life? Do the panics over such groups follow any discernible pattern? Phillip Jenkins gives fascinating-and surprising-answers to these and many other questions in Mystics and Messiahs, the first full account of cults and anti-cult scares in American history. Jenkins shows that, contrary to popular belief, cults were by no means an invention of the 1960s. In fact, most of the frightening images and stereotypes surrounding fringe religious movements are traceable to the mid-nineteenth century when Mormons, Freemasons, and even Catholics were vehemently denounced for supposed ritualistic violence, fraud, and sexual depravity. As Charles Ferguson observed in 1928, America has always been the sanctuary of amazing cults. But America has also been the home of an often hysterical anti-cult backlash. Jenkins provides an insightful new analysis of why cults arouse such fear and hatred both in the secular world and in mainstream churches, many of which-Baptists, Quakers, Pentecostals, and Methodists-were themselves originally regarded as cults. Most importantly, Jenkins argues that an accurate historical perspective is urgently needed if we are to avoid the kind of catastrophic confrontation that occurred in Waco or the ruinous prosecution of imagined Satanic cults in the 1980s. While not ignoring genuine instances of aberrant behaviour, Mystics and Messiahs goes beyond the vast edifice of myth, distortion, and hype to reveal the true characteristics of religious fringe movements and why they inspire such fierce antagonism. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Jenkins, Philip
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0195127447 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0039802

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Jenkins, Philip
Published by OUP USA (2000)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description OUP USA, 2000. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our US warehouse in 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND.Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 58.59
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.92
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Jenkins, Philip
Published by Oxford University Press (2017)
ISBN 10: 0195127447 ISBN 13: 9780195127447
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 0195127447

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 69.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book