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Scholarly Reactions to the Aum and Waco Incidents
Author Dorman, Benjamin
Source Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Volumev.39 n.1
Pages153 - 177
PublisherNanzan Institute for Religion and Culture=南山宗教文化研究所
Publisher Url
Location名古屋, 日本 [Nagoya, Japan]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
NoteBenjamin Dorman is a permanent fellow at Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture.
KeywordBranch Davidians; new religious movements (nrms); fieldwork; Waco
AbstractThis article investigates some scholarly reactions towards the Aum incident of
March 1995 and the incident of 1993 involving the Branch Davidians in Waco,
Texas. The Waco incident began on 28 February 1993 with an armed exchange
in which four federal agents and six Branch Davidians died, and ended on 19
April 1993 with the deaths of seventy-six Branch Davidians. While both incidents
highlighted questions that democracies face in terms of the balance
between protecting religious freedom and guaranteeing public safety, they also
highlighted stark cultural differences in reactions, approaches, and expectations
between scholars in Japan and the West, particularly the United States.
There is, of course, a danger in attempting to compare the same research methods
and assumptions scholars generally operate on in one region to another,
in conjunction with prevailing social and cultural attitudes. Nevertheless,
the growing field of new religious movements, or nrms, necessarily requires
at least some consideration into scholarly methods and assumptions from an
international perspective.

Table of contents“Blowing the Lid” or “Putting a Lid on a Stinking Pot”? 155
Similarities and Differences 157
Waco and Aum as “Turning Points” 162
Differing Positions on Waco and Aum 164
The Study of New Religions in Japan 167
Conclusion 171
ISSN03041042 (P)
Created date2013.04.16
Modified date2017.09.13

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