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Explaining the Murder-Suicides of the Order of the Solar Temple: A Survey of Hypotheses

Chapter in book
Authors Henrik Bogdan
Published in Violence and New Religious Movements. Edited by James R. Lewis
Pages 133-145
ISBN ISBN13: 978-0-19-973563-1
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication New York
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Pages 133-145
Language en
Keywords Nya religiösa rörelser, våld, Soltempelorden
Subject categories Humanities, Religious Studies


The Order of the Solar Temple caught the attention of the public in October 1994, when 53 members of the order in Switzerland and Québec were murdered or committed suicide. These tragic events were later followed by two group suicides, and the Solar Temple quickly became one of the most notorious and discussed ”cults”. This chapter surveys the most important scholarly theories concerning the violence of the Solar Temple, but it also addresses the broader discussion of sects and violence using the Solar Temple as a case study.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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