Faith, War, and Violence: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Faith, War, and Violence

1st Edition

By Gabriel R. Ricci


244 pages

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Faith, War, and Violence analyzes the age-old links between religion and violence perpetrated in the name of God, and the role religion performs in politically infusing the state with romantic spiritualism. The volume examines instances of this phenomenon from ancient Rome to the modern day; it finds that religion-inspired violence is not restricted to Abrahamic faiths or to one geographic region.

The fact that symbolically charged religious violence has destructive consequences is not lost on contributors to Faith, War, and Violence. Among the subjects tackled are: the ideological and religious foundations that inspired the founders of Al-Qaeda and its role in the Arab Spring; the long history of religious conflict in Ireland known as the Troubles; Sikh extremism; and the evolution of the Christian approach to war.

As the contributors demonstrate, in Western societies, the unity of religious fervor and warmongering stretches from Constantine's incorporation of Christian symbols into Roman army flags to slogans like Gott mit uns (God is with us), which appeared on the belt buckles of German soldiers in World War I. In recent years, George W. Bush declared the war on terror a "crusade," and his speechwriter, David Frum, coined the religiously inspired term "Axis of Evil," to describe Iraq and other countries opposing the United States.

Table of Contents

Gabriel R. Ricci

1.'Abdullah'Azzm—The Ideology behind Al-Q'ida
Asaf Maliach

2. The Arab Spring and the Religious Agenda
Jonathan Fine

3. Sikhism, the Seduction of Modernism, and the Question of Violence
Nicholas F. Gier

4. The Catholic Church, Violence, and the Nationalist Struggles in Ireland, 1798–1998
Oliver Rafferty, SJ

5. Responsibility and Limitation: The Early Christian Church and War
Darrell Cole

6. The Medieval Papacy and Holy War: General Crusading Letters and Papal Authority, 1145–1213
Rebecca Rist

7. "Generosity . . . in the Slavery of This Brave Cavalier": Sanctity Honor and Religious Violence in the French Mediterranean
Brian Sandberg

8. Deferral of War: The Religious Sign System of Ritual Violence
Christopher S. Morrissey

9. Martyrs of Liberty: Open-Air Preaching and Popular Violence in Victorian Britain and Ireland
Mark Doyle

10. Moral Injury: A Case Study in the Intersection of Religion and Violence
Kathryn McClymond and Anthony F. Lemieux

11. Marshall McLuhan and the Machiavellian Use of Religious Violence
Grant N. Havers

12. The Trenches of Capernaum, 1914–1918
Yves Pourcher


About the Series

Religion and Public Life

Religion and Public Life promotes topical interdisciplinary research and discussion on wide-ranging ethical and philosophical issues at the intersection of religion and civil society. The series provides a platform for international scholarly discussion through the publication of thematic issues that cut across disciplines. Recent issues have addressed Politics in Theology, Faith, War and Violence, Faith in Science, and Justice and the Politics of Memory. A forthcoming issue, Natural Communions, addresses eco-spirituality and theological naturalism.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Religious Intolerance, Persecution & Conflict