Religion & Spirituality
The Theology of Heaven's Gate
In March of 1997, Heaven’s Gate committed ritual suicide to the astonishment and horror of the world. Over 20 years later, we are still piecing together the mystery of this fringe UFO religion: who were they, what did they believe, and why did they end so horribly? Joining me for today’s Sacred Tension podcast is Benjamin Zeller, widely considered the leading authority on Heaven’s Gate.
Zeller walks us through why he calls Heaven’s Gate a religion and not a cult, the theology of Heaven’s Gate and how it is, at its most basic level, Christian, whether we will ever have society without religion, and much more. I found this an incredibly thought provoking conversation, and I hope you do too.
Benjamin Zeller is a researcher and teacher of religion in America. He focuses on religious currents that are new or alternative, including new religions, the religious engagement with science, and the quasi-religious relationship people have with food. Dr. Zeller holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina, an M.T.S. from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester.
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