The authors examined the possible interpretations of apocalyptic suicide. A number of paradigmatic cases were identified through a literature search. Interpretations of apocalyptic suicide might consider individual factors but also social & eschatological themes found in the group’s ideological work. Religious violence, including suicide, may be precipitated in a dialectical interaction between group members & the perceived outside world. It is concluded that apocalyptic suicide involves a shift of personal self & agency to the social self of the charismatic group.