Religion and Violence : A Religious Studies Approach book cover
1st Edition

Religion and Violence
A Religious Studies Approach

ISBN 9780367432065
Published July 29, 2020 by Routledge
296 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Does religion cause much of the world’s violence? Is religion inherently violent? Would violence disappear if religion did? Is true religion a force for peace? Is religion a mask for power and self-interest? What aspects of religion make violence more—or less—likely? 

Religion and Violence: A Religious Studies Approach explores the potential of classic social theories to shed light on the relationships between religion and violence. This accessible and engaging book starts from the premise that both religion and violence are ordinary elements of social life and that rather than causing violence religion plays a crucial role in the management of violence. 

Ideal for any student approaching the topic of religion and violence for the first time, this core textbook includes chapter overviews and summaries, guides for applying theory to real-world events, discussion questions, and case studies. Further teaching and learning resources are available on the accompanying companion website.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Religion and the Management of Violence
  2. Maximalism, Minimalism, and a Way Forward
  3. Karl Marx, Marxists, and Marxians: Religion, Oppression, and Revolution
  4. Émile Durkheim: Religion as Social Grouping and Social Grappling
  5. Victor Turner: Liminal States, Social Stability, and Social Upheaval
  6. Max Weber on Asceticism: Breaking the World to Save It
  7. Modernization, Secularization, and their Discontents
  8. Church-Sect-Cult: Social Formation and Patterns of Violence
  9. Some Building Blocks of Religion and Violence
  10. The Special Case of Islam?

Appendix: Toward a Typology of Violence in RV


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Paul R. Powers is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Lewis & Clark College, USA.