There is a long-standing fear of that which is not understood. Since September 11, 2001 the fear surrounding the violent elements of religion has led to heightened tensions. Research is thus essential to counteract the effects of 'religious xenophobia'. In this compelling book J.P. Larsson investigates religious violence, terrorism and armed conflict in order to deliver the understanding required for a more peaceful world and to allow for a framework of conflict transformation. This multi-disciplinary text will greatly interest those in the fields of international relations, theology and sociology.
'…utilizing his own background in the Western philosophical tradition, J.P. Larsson shows that religious violence is part of the language of cultural understanding, and he rightly points to the concept of sacred war as seminal to the social use of violent religious images and ideas…Turning to Gandhi, among other nonviolent religious leaders, he shows how religion can provide a moral dimension in political encounters that leads in a positive direction as well as in a destructive one.' Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California, USA and author of Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence 'In arguing that we must first understand religious violence 'from the inside' if we want to transform it, this book offers readers challenging insights into why religious conflict is proving so intractable for conventional conflict management. Peter Larsson's suggested remedies are creative and thought-provoking. His book will be of interest to all those who are concerned about this important contemporary topic.' Professor Oliver Ramsbotham, University of Bradford, UK
Contents: Introduction; Questions/problems: contemporary perspectives; Correlates: illustrative of contemporary perspectives; Prerequisites: philosophical prerequisites for contemporary perspectives; Causation: historical causation of contemporary perspectives; Origins: religious origins of contemporary perspectives; Conclusions: a framework for conflict transformation; Bibliography; Index.