1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Mass Atrocity, and Genocide

Edited By Sara E. Brown, Stephen D. Smith Copyright 2022
    506 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    506 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Mass Atrocity, and Genocide explores the many and sometimes complicated ways in which religion, faith, doctrine, and practice intersect in societies where mass atrocity and genocide occur.

    This volume is intended as an entry point to questions about mass atrocity and genocide that are asked by and of people of faith and is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, historical events, and heated debates in this subject area. The 39 contributions to the handbook, by a team of international contributors, span five continents and cover four millennia. Each explores the intersection of religion, faith, and mainly state-sponsored mass atrocity and genocide, and draws from a variety of disciplines.

    This volume is divided into six core sections:

    • Genocide in Antiquity and Holy Wars
    • The Genocide of Indigenous Peoples
    • Religion and the State
    • The Role of Religion during Genocide
    • Post Genocide Considerations
    • Memory Culture

    Within these sections central issues, historical events, debates, and problems are examined, including the Crusades; Jihad and ISIS, colonialism, the Holocaust, desecration of ritual objects, politics of religion, Shinto nationalism, attacks on Rohingya Muslims; the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, responses to genocide; gender-based atrocities, ritualcide in Cambodia, burial sites and mass graves, transitional justice, forgiveness, documenting genocide, survivor memory narratives, post-conflict healing and memorialization.

    The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Genocide is essential reading for students and researchers with an interest in religion and genocide, religion and violence, and religion and politics. It will be of great interest to students of theology, philosophy, genocide studies, narrative studies, history, and international relations and those in related fields, such as cultural studies, area studies, sociology, and anthropology.

    Section 1: Genocide in Antiquity and Holy Wars

    1. Genocide in Antiquity

    Shawn J. Kelley

    2. The Roots of Antisemitism and Genocide in Christian Antiquity

    John T. Pawlikowski

    3. Esau and Amalek in the Hebrew Bible and in Second Temple Jewish Apocalyptic Literature: From Propaganda to Genocide

    Adam T. Strater

    4. Holy Wars, Judaism, Violence, and Genocide: An Unholy Quadrinity?

    Steven Leonard Jacobs

    5. The Last Crusade: Holy War and Genocidal Practices in the Case of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

    Antonio Míguez Macho

    6. Alawite Warrior-Sheikhs: Ali Khizam and the Specter of Sectarian Violence in Syria

    Uğur Ümit Üngör

    Section 2: The Genocide of Indigenous Peoples

    7. Renewing the World: Disrupting Settler-Colonial Destruction

    Kerri J. Malloy

    8. Colonial New England: Genocide and the Negative Myth of the Other

    Dennis Cerrotti

    9. The Religious Challenges of Linking Holocaust Memory with Colonial Violence

    David Tollerton

    10. Sexual Violence as Genocide against Indigenous Peoples: the Case of Mayan Women in Guatemala

    Elisenda Calvet Martínez

    Section 3: Religion and the State

    11. Religion: A Driving Force But not a Major Cause of the Turkish Genocide of Armenians

    Rubina Peroomian

    12. The Christian Churches, the Nazi State, and the Holocaust

    Victoria J. Barnett

    13. Religion and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

    Freddy Mutanguha & Paul Rukesha

    14. The "Nature of Death" in the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition Genocide

    Khyati Tripathi

    15. Ritualcide Under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia: Animism, Genocide and War Crimes

    Peg Levine

    16. Race, Religion, and the Genocide of the Jews in Nazi Germany

    Christopher Probst

    17. Catholicism and State Terror in Argentina

    Gustavo Morello

    18. Religious Communities as Targets of the Khmer Rouge Genocide

    B.D. Mowell

    19. Dangerous Speech Cloaked in Saffron Robes: Race, Religion, and Anti-Muslim Violence in Myanmar

    Nickey Diamond & Ken MacLean

    20. The Uyghur People: History Geography, Religion, Language

    Azeem Ibrahim & Nury Turkel

    Section 4: The Role of Religion During Genocide

    21. Religion, Resistance, and Responding to Genocide: The Cham in Cambodia

    Rachel Killean

    22. Sinners or Saviors: A Personal Perspective on Surviving the Holocaust

    Walter Ziffer

    23. Rwanda 1994: The Creation of Religious Identities in Genocide Propaganda

    Olov Simonsson

    24. Faith and Women Rescuers in Rwanda

    Sara E. Brown

    25. Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘Citizens of the Kingdom of God’

    Jolene Chu & Tharcisse Seminega

    26. Music, Religion, and Genocide

    Badema Pitic

    Section 5: Post Genocide Considerations

    27. "For Dust Thou Art, and Unto Dust Shalt Thou Return": Jewish Law, Forensic Investigation, and Archaeology in the Aftermath of the Holocaust

    Caroline Sturdy Colls

    28. Forensics and Maya Ceremonies: The Long Journey for Truth in Guatemala

    Fredy Peccerelli & Erica Henderson

    29. Reforming the Church’s Theology of the Jews: Christian Responses to the Holocaust

    William Skiles

    30. Mozambique: Religious Practices and Post-conflict Processes

    Victor Igreja

    31. Iraq and the Halabja ‘Genocide’: The need for Transformative Justice

    Isaac Kfir

    32. Personal Philosophies of Forgiveness after Genocide

    Stephen D. Smith

    33. Genocide and the Human Right to Freedom of Religion

    Melanie O’Brien

    34. Survival: The Case of Yezidi Women

    Maria Rita Corticelli

    35. An Assessment of the United Nations Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity Crimes

    Kate Temoney

    Section 6: Memory Culture

    36. The Power of One: Narrative Analysis and an Iranian Jewish Shoah Survivor

    Aria Razfar & Caroline Ezrapour Yona

    37. Beyond Competitive Memory: The Preeminence of the Holocaust in Religious Studies

    Katharina von Kellenbach

    38. Muslim and Christian Perspectives on the Holocaust and Genocide

    Mehnaz Afridi & Stephen D. Smith

    39. Analyzing Holocaust Archives Through a Quantitative Lens

    Alexis Lerner

    Epilogue: What we know and what we still need to know

    John K. Roth


    Sara E. Brown is the Executive Director of the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education and served for four years on the Advisory Board for the International Association of Genocide Scholars. She is the author of Gender and the Genocide in Rwanda: Women as Perpetrators and Rescuers (2019).

    Stephen D. Smith is the Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, Adjunct Professor of Religion, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education at the University of Southern California. He is the author of The Holocaust and the Christian World (2019), The Trajectory of Holocaust Memory (Routledge, forthcoming), and Holocaust XR (Routledge, forthcoming).