Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-10-10
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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This groundbreaking anthology provides the most comprehensive overview for understanding the fascinating relationship between religion and violence--historically, culturally, and in the contemporary world. Bringing together writings from scholarly and religious traditions, it is the first volume to unite primary sources--justifications for violence from religious texts, theologians, and activists--with invaluable essays by authoritative scholars. The first half of the collection includes original source materials justifying violence from various religious perspectives: Hindu, Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist. Showing that religious violence is found in every tradition, these sources include ancient texts and scriptures along with thoughtful essays from theologians wrestling with such issues as military protection and pacifism. The collection also includes the writings of modern-day activists involved in suicide bombings, attacks on abortion clinics, and nerve gas assaults. The book's second half features well-known thinkers reflecting on why religion and violence are so intimately related and includes excerpts from early social theorists such as Durkheim, Marx, and Freud, as well as contemporary thinkers who view the issue of religious violence from literary, anthropological, postcolonial, and feminist perspectives. The editors' brief introductions to each essay provide important historical and conceptual contexts and relate the readings to one another. The diversity of selections and their accessible length make this volume ideal for both students and general readers.

Author Biography

Mark Juergensmeyer is professor of sociology and global studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His many books include Terror in the Mind of God. Margo Kitts is associate professor of humanities at Hawai'i Pacific University. She is the author of Sanctified Violence in Homeric Society.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Why Is Religion Violent and Violence Religious?p. 1
Religious Justifications for Violence
Introduction to Part Ip. 7
Kautilyap. 13
"Forms of Treacherous Fights," the Arthashastrap. 13
Sun Tzup. 17
"Laying Plans," The Art of Warp. 17
The Bhagavad Gitap. 20
The Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharatap. 20
Soho Takuanp. 25
"Annals of the Sword Taia," The Unfettered Mindp. 25
The Hebrew Biblep. 29
Deuteronomy 20p. 31
Exodus 23p. 32
The Qur'anp. 35
Surah 2 ("The Cow")p. 36
Thomas Aquinasp. 41
"Whether It Is Always Sinful to Wage War?"
Summa Theologicap. 41
Reinhold Niebuhrp. 45
"Why the Christian Church Is Not Pacifist"p. 45
Michael Brayp. 55
"A Time for Revolution?" A Time to Killp. 56
Abd al-Salam Farajp. 62
The Neglected Dutyp. 63
Meir Kahanep. 69
"War and Peace," The Jewish Ideap. 69
Shoko Asaharap. 75
Declaring Myself the Christp. 76
Disaster Comes to the Land of the Rising Sunp. 77
9/11 Conspiratorp. 82
"Last Instructions of 9/11"p. 83
Understanding the Religious Role in Violence
Introduction to Part IIp. 93
Emile Durkheimp. 100
Elementary Forms of the Religious Lifep. 101
Henri Hubert and Marcel Maussp. 108
"Conclusion," Sacrifice: Its Nature and Functionp. 109
Sigmund Freudp. 115
Totem and Taboop. 116
Rene Girardp. 127
"Sacrifice," Violence and the Sacredp. 128
Walter Burkertp. 141
Homo Necansp. 141
Maurice Blochp. 152
Prey into Hunterp. 152
Georges Bataillep. 167
Theory of Religionp. 167
Karl Marxp. 174
Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Rightp. 174
Nancy Jayp. 178
"Sacrifice and Descent," Throughout Your Generations Foreverp. 178
Elaine Scarryp. 190
The Body in Painp. 191
Jean Baudrillardp. 201
The Spirit of Terrorismp. 201
Ashis Nandyp. 210
"The Discreet Charm of Indian Terrorism," The Savage Freud and Other Essaysp. 210
Closing Comments: The Connection between War and Sacrificep. 217
Selected Bibliographyp. 223
Permissionsp. 229
About the Editorsp. 231
Indexp. 233
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