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Religious violence in contemporary Japan : the case of Aum Shinrikyo


Religious Violence in Contemporary JapanThis study of the Japanese religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (which released Sarin gas into the Tokyo transport system in 1995) explores the reasons why the movement developed a violent response to the society around it.  Exploring factors such as its charismatic leadership, sacred world view and millennial disposition, the author argues that Aum Shinrikyo is not unique in developing these violent tendencies and that the linkage between violence and religion itself must be properly acknowledged to understand the course of action it took. This is both the pre-eminent study of Aum Shinrikyo in the English language as well as being a superb example of a case-study that provides a nuanced and in-depth exploration of the role of religion in a group's move to violence. The author spent many years living in Japan and has produced a body of respected research on religious practice there.

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