This book examines the connection between religion and violence in the Western traditions of the three Abrahamic faiths, from ancient to modern times. It addresses a gap in the scholarly debate on the nature of religious violence by bringing scholars that specialize in pre-modern religions and scriptural traditions into the same sphere of discussion as those specializing in contemporary manifestations of religious violence.
Moving beyond the question of the “authenticity” of religious violence, this book brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines. Contributors explore the central role that religious texts have played in encouraging, as well as confronting, violence. The interdisciplinary conversation that takes place challenges assumptions that religious violence is a modern problem that can be fully understood without reference to religious scriptures, beliefs, or history. Each chapter focuses its analysis on a particular case study from a distinct historical period. Taken as a whole, these chapters attest to the persistent relationship between religion and violence that links the ancient and contemporary worlds.
This is a dynamic collection of explorations into how religion and violence intersect. As such, it will be a key resource for any scholar of Religious Studies, Theology and Religion and Violence, as well as Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Studies.
List of Contributors
Introduction Religion and Violence in Western Traditions
André Gagné, Jennifer Guyver, and Gerbern S. Oegema
1 "I will be an enemy to your enemies": The Genocidal Ideal in the Hebrew Bible and its Legacy
2 Turn the Cheek but Buy a Sword: Responding to Violence in Luke-Acts
David Anthony Basham
3 Anabaptists and the Apocalypse: The Makings of a Cosmic War in Münster
4 "Ruling [the Church] to its destruction and leading souls to hell in masses": Violence, Victimhood and Self-Defence in the Conciliarist Discourse of Jacques Almain
5 Fearful Symmetry: Revelation, Hellboy, and Pop Apocalyptic Violence
6 Inciting Genocide in Rwanda and the Reception of the Bible: "When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it"
7 Jihadism and the Family in Europe: The Anthropology of the Jihadist Family
8 Mediatization of Religious Violence: Information and Obscenity
9 Protecting the Legitimacy of State Violence Through Laïcité: the Case of Quebec
10 Battling the Plague: Spiritual Warfare, COVID-19 and the Demonization of Political Adversaries