Stuart A. Wright

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Stuart A. Wright is a Professor of Sociology and Director of Research in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Lamar University.


He is a former NIMH Research Fellow (Yale) and Rockefeller Foundation Scholar (Bellagio, Italy). In 2000, Lamar recognized Dr. Wright with a career achievement award as University Scholar. He has authored over fifty publications in scholarly books and journals. He is known internationally for his research on religious and political movements, conflict and violence. He has published five books, including Armageddon in Waco (University of Chicago Press, 1995), Patriots, Politics, and the Oklahoma City Bombing (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Saints under Siege: The Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (with James T. Richardson, New York University Press, 2011). He is currently working on a cross-national study of government raids on new or minority religious communities which will be published by Oxford University Press (coauthored with Susan J. Palmer). Dr. Wright also serves as legal expert in his field. He has testified in Congressional hearings on state-sect conflict, served as an advisor to the FBI’s Crisis Incident Response Group (CIRG), and worked as an expert or consultant in a number of high-profile legal cases, including the Branch Davidian criminal and civil trials, the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh, the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr., and the trials of polygamists after the Texas raid on FLDS in 2008.

Dr. Wright has served on the Executive Councils of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), the Religious Research Association (RRA) and the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR) and he has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Academic Study of New Religions since its inception in 2001.


  • Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict , University Of Chicago Press (September 20, 1995), ISBN 0-226-90845-3
  • Patriots, Politics, and the Oklahoma City Bombing (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics), Cambridge University Press (June 30, 2007), ISBN 0-521-69419-1
  • Saints under Siege: The Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (with James T. Richardson) (August 2011), New York University Press, ISBN 978-0-8147-9529-3.
  • Storming Zion: Examining Government Raids on New or Nontraditional Religious Communities (with Susan J. Palmer) (forthcoming) Oxford University Press[1]


  1. ^ Wood, Louise (February 2010). "Sect Under Siege". Cardinal Cadence (PDF). 38 (1): 13–15. Under contract with Oxford University Press, Wright and Palmer are completing what they believe will be the first comprehensive study ever conducted of government raids on religious communities —from Central and West Texas to European locales. Storming Zion is scheduled for publication in late 2014 or early 2015.