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Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah (New)
by Kaplan, Jeffrey
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Book ID: 9780815603962, 0815603967
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This work focuses on the milieu of three religiously based apocalyptic movements, their radical doctrine and rejection of mainstream American culture. The movements discussed are: the "Christian Identity"; Odinism and the related "Asatru Movement"; and "B'nai Noah".
The burning in Waco of the Branch Davidian compound, the confrontation at Ruby Ridge with the family of Randy Weaver, and the Oklahoma City bombing have heightened our fear of American extremist groups.
Now Jeffrey Kaplan takes a provocative look at three religiously based apocalyptic movements, their radical doctrines, and their rejection of mainstream American culture: the Christian Identity, whose members believe they are the true Aryan descendants of Israeli biblical tribes; Odinism and the related Asatru movement, which attempts to reconstruct the practices of Norse-Germanic paganism; nd the B'nai Noah, the anti-Christian movements in favvor of God's covenant with Noah.
Kaplan describes how the groups interact, probes the internal organizational friction, and shows how watchdog groups like the Anti-Defamation League, Klanwatch, and Cult Awareness Network monitor these groups' activities. He argues that violence takes several forms, which at its apex may culminate in millenarian violence, but maintains that right-wing violence is primarily an impulsive act carried out by part-time revolutionaries against convenient targets or against that which represents change in the status quo.
Though-provoking in his analysis, Kaplan defines the primary issu for current debate: how sectarian organizations, far outside the mainstream of American religious life, pose a significant challenge to prevailing conceptions of constitutional rights. He contends thatthe cost of denying such protection to even the most antagonistic and despised groups is, in the end, too high a price for a free society to pay.
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