Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2006-12-12
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Do religions justify and cause violence or are they more appropriately seen as forces for peace and tolerance? In the context of secular modernity, religion has been represented by some as a primary cause of social division, conflict and war, whilst others have argued that this is a distortion of the 'true' significance of religion, which when properly followed promotes peace, harmony, goodwill and social cohesion. Religion and Violence in South Asia explores how this debate is played out in a number of ways in the South Asian context. Engaging with the issues relating to religion and violence in a South Asian context in both its classical and contemporary formations, this collection is designed to look beyond the stereotypical images and idealized portrayals of the peaceful South Asian religious traditions, (especially Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sufi), which can occlude their own violent histories, and to analyze the diverse attitudes towards and manifestations of violence within the majorreligious traditions of South Asia. With contributions from international experts in their field, the book contains three sections, exploring the classical traditions of South Asia (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, and Islamic), religious violence in contemporary South Asia, and finally globalization and theoretical issues informing contemporary discussions of the relationship between religion and violence.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Classical Approaches to Violence in South Asian Traditions 1. Telling Stories about Harm: An Overview of Hiwsa in Early Indian Narratives 2. The Non-Violence of Violence. Jain Perspectives on Warfare, Asceticism and Worship 3. Early Buddhist Approaches and Attitudes to Violence 4. Crimes Against God and Violent Punishment in al-FatAwA al-YAlamgDriyya 5. Text as Sword. Sikh Religious Violence Taken as Wonder Part 2: Religion and Violence in Contemporary South Asia 6. Operationalizing Buddhism for Political Ends in a Martial Context in Lanka. 7. The Case of Sinhalatva 8. Religion and Violence: The Historical Context for Conflict in Pakistan 9. Communal Riots in Gujarat: The State at Risk? Part 3: THEORY: Framing the "Religion and Violence" Debate 10. A Categorical Difference: Communal Identity in British Epistemologies 11. The Global Fiduciary: Learning to Mediate the Violence of "Religion" 12. The Association of "Religion" with Violence: Reflections on a Modern Trope

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