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Salvation and SuicideSalvation and Suicide

An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown

David Chidester

Narrated by Steven Roy Grimsley

Available from Audible


Book published by Indiana University Press


Re-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.”

David Chidester is Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town and author or editor of 20 books.

REVIEWS:

“[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 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 Review





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