By Mark Juergensmeyer
Underneath the histories of non secular traditions--from biblical wars to crusading ventures and nice acts of martyrdom--violence has lurked as a shadowy presence. pictures of loss of life have by no means been faraway from the guts of religion's energy to stir the mind's eye. during this wide-ranging and erudite publication, Mark Juergensmeyer asks probably the most very important and complicated questions of our age: Why do non secular humans devote violent acts within the identify in their god, taking the lives of blameless sufferers and terrorizing whole populations?
This, the 1st comparative learn of spiritual terrorism, explores incidents akin to the area alternate middle explosion, Hamas suicide bombings, the Tokyo subway nerve fuel assault, and the killing of abortion hospital medical professionals within the usa. Incorporating own interviews with international alternate middle bomber Mahmud Abouhalima, Christian correct activist Mike Bray, Hamas leaders Sheik Yassin and Abdul Azis Rantisi, and Sikh political chief Simranjit Singh Mann, between others, Juergensmeyer takes us into the approach of these who perpetrate and help violent acts. within the technique, he is helping us comprehend why those acts are usually linked to non secular factors and why they happen with such frequency at this second in history.
Terror within the brain of God locations those acts of violence within the context of world political and social alterations, and posits them as makes an attempt to empower the cultures of violence that aid them. Juergensmeyer analyzes the industrial, ideological, and gender-related dimensions of cultures that include a critical sacred concept--cosmic war--and that hire faith to demonize their enemies.
Juergensmeyer's narrative is attractive, incisive, and sweeping in scope. He convincingly exhibits that whereas, in lots of situations, faith provides not just the ideology but in addition the inducement and organizational constitution for the perpetrators of violent acts, it additionally consists of with it the chances for peace.
Los Angeles occasions top Nonfiction publication of 2000
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Extra info for Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)
44 Hartley was an articulate, thoughtful man with a thick head of hair and an even thicker Irish brogue. The bluejeans and open shirt he was wearing were more in keeping with his workingclass headquarters in the war zone of Belfast's Falls Road, which I had visited the day before. The building had been barricaded with large rocks to keep car bombs from exploding in front of the headquarters. S. Capitol building. In a workroom near the gleaming marble rotunda, the Catholic activist fixed a cup of coffee and speculated about the religious aspects of the Northern Irish conflict.
It is unlikely that Bray's positions would be accepted by these or any other theologian Page 27 within mainstream Protestant thought. Bonhoeffer and Niebuhr, like most modern theologians, accepted the principle of the separation of church and state; they felt that separation is necessary to the integrity of both institutions. Niebuhr was especially wary of what he called "moralism"—the intrusion of religious or other ideological values into the political calculations of statecraft. To support his ideas about religious politics, therefore, Bray had to look beyond mainstream Protestant thought.
As Mike Bray explained, his justification of violence against abortion clinics is not the result of a personal vendetta against agencies with which he and others have moral differences, but the consequence of a grand religious vision. His position is part of a great crusade conducted by a Christian subculture in America that considers itself at war with the larger society, and to some extent victimized by it. Armed with the theological explanations of Reconstruction and Christian Identity writers, this subculture sees itself justified in its violent responses to a vast and violent repression waged by secular (and, in some versions of this vision, Jewish) agents of a satanic force.