The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements

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David G. Bromley
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Religion - 244 pages

The current controversy surrounding new religions has brought to the forefront the role of apostates. These individuals leave highly controversial movements and assume roles in other organizations as public opponents against their former movements. This volume examines the motivations of the apostates, how they are recruited and play out their roles, the kinds of narratives they construct to discredit their previous groups, and the impact of apostasy on the outcome of conflicts between movements and society.


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Sociological Perspectives on Apostasy An Overview
A Comparative Approach to Organizational Exit
The Social Construction of Contested Exit Roles Defectors Whistleblowers and Apostates
The Apostate Role and Career
Apostasy and the Management of Spoiled Identity
Standing at the CrossRoads The Politics of Marginality in Subversive Organizations
Exploring Factors That Shape the Apostate Role
Apostates Who Never Were The Social Construction of Absque Facto Apostate Narratives
Apostasy Apocalypse and Religious Violence An Exploratory Comparison of Peoples Temple the Branch Davidians and the Solar Temple
Apostates Whistleblowers Law and Social Control
Apostates and Their Role in the Construction of Grievance Claims Against the Northeast KingdomMessianic Communities
The Role of Apostates in the North American Anticult Movement
Methodological Issues in the Study of Apostasy
Carriers of Tales On Assessing Credibility of Apostate and Other Outsider Accounts of Religious Practices
About the Contributors

The Organizational Context of Apostasy

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About the author (1998)

DAVID G. BROMLEY is Professor of Sociology and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the past editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Among his recent books are The Satanism Scare (1991), edited with James Richardson and Joel Best, Handbook on Cults and Sects in America (1993), edited with Jeffrey K. Hadden, and Anticult Movements in Cross-Cultural Perspective (1994), edited with Anson Shupe.

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