From the first Jewish revolt against Rome in the first century CE to contemporary Islamic fanaticism, faith in the hands of religious zealots has been a powerful and often catastrophic means of enacting radical change. 'Ultimate Devotion' examines a range of religious movements across history to reveal the striking similarities in the way they emerged, the characters of their leaders and followers, and their often tragic conclusions. A rich variety of archaeological materials intersect with textual evidence and anthropological theory to develop a model of mass action inspired by intense religion. In its exploration of religious rebellion in history, 'Ultimate Devotion' illuminates religious fanaticism today.
Part I 1. Introduction – A Theory of Religious Intensification 2. God and Country 3. One God, One Way 4. A Quest for Immediate Salvation 5. Messianic Hopes Shattered Part II 6. Introduction – History, Archaeology and Religious Ideology 7. Uprising in Judea 8. Narrative of Crisis 9. The Sacred Contract 10. Unearthing Religious Intensity 11. Conclusions – Between Rome and Jericho