Author

Green

Date of Award

4-1999

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. J. Kevin Corder

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom

Third Advisor

Dr. John Clark

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Historically the study of apocalyptic groups has occupied the "exotic fringe" of political science (Flanagan 1996). With the use of textual analysis, historical description, and participant observation as its main research methods, there has been little progress made in the study of these groups. By using data analysis of incidents of violence to compare the violent actions of apocalyptic groups, a better understanding of reasons for the use of violence by these groups can be found.

Six apocalyptic groups are studied and categorized into a typology of apocalypticism. The Rescue Movement and End-Times Religious occupy the Supernatural type, Militia/Patriot and Anti-Industrial/Technology occupy the Unnatural, and the Radical Environmental and Animal Rights occupy the Natural.

Data on violence are then examined to find relations across and between groups. What emerges from this examination is support for the concept of imminence as a possible factor in determining violence. This imminence is not that of salvation (Cohn 1970) or attainment (Taylor 1991) but of the apocalypse itself.

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