Wolves Within the Fold: Religious Leadership and Abuses of Power

Front Cover
Anson D. Shupe
Rutgers University Press, 1998 - Religion - 245 pages
Wolves within the Fold is the first collection of new articles dealing with abuse of authority by religious leaders and the victimization of their parishioners.

The power of religion as a symbolic, salvation–promising enterprise resides in its authority to create and shape reality for believers and command their obedience. This power can inspire tremendous acts of human kindness, charity, compassion, and hope. But witch hunts, inquisitions, crusades, and pogroms show us how religious authority can be used for far darker purposes. This abuse of power by religious authorities at the expense of their followers is termed clergy malfeasance by editor Anson Shupe and examined by the contributors to Wolves within the Fold.

The essays provide an innovative examination of behavior that is sometimes illegal and always unethical, sometimes punished but often not. Topics range from a cultural study of Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese apocalyptic group now infamous for releasing lethal gas into the Tokyo subway system, to a sociological analysis of financial scandals among evangelical religious groups. Groups analyzed include the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations, televangelists, and the Hare Krishnas.

 

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Contents

The Dynamics
1
Church Structures That Facilitate Pedophilia
17
The AUM Spiritual Truth Church in Japan
33
Economic Fraud and Christian Leaders in
49
Responses to Clergy Malfeasance
67
The Impact of Abuses of Clergy Trust
85
Creating a Culture of Clergy Deviance
118
Clergy Abuse in Ireland
133
The Moral Bankruptcy of Institutionalized Religion
152
Models for the Study of Ciergy Malfeasance
175
How the Problem of Malfeasance Gets Overlooked
191
Criminology s Contributions to the Study
212
Future Study of Clergy Malfeasance
230
Index
239
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About the author (1998)

Anson Shupe is a professor of soicioly at Indiana University-Purdue University. He is the author of more thatn 20 books, including numerous books on religion.

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