Salvation and Suicide (Paperback)
An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown (Religion in North America)
Indiana University Press, 9780253216328, 224pp.
Publication Date: October 16, 2003
Praise for the first edition:
" 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
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."