1st Edition

War and Religion in the Secular Age Faith and Interstate Armed Conflict Onset

By Davis Brown Copyright 2020
    248 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Is religion a factor in initiating interstate armed conflict, and do different religions have different effects? Breaking new ground in political science, this book explores these questions both qualitatively and quantitively, concluding that the answer is yes.

    Previous studies have focused on conflict within states or interstate aggression with overtly religious motivations; in contrast, Brown shows how religion affects states’ propensities to militarize even disputes that are not religious in nature. Different religions are shown to have different influences on those propensities, and those influences are linked to the war ethics inculcated in those religions. The book analyses and classifies war ethics contained in religious scripture and other religious classics, teachings of religions’ contemporary epistemic communities, and religions’ historical narratives. Using data from the new Religious Characteristics of States dataset project, qualitative studies are combined with empirical measurements of governments’ institutional preferences and populations’ cultures.

    This book will provide interesting insights to scholars and researchers in international security studies, political science, international law, sociology, and religious studies.

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: How Religious War Ethics Translate to State Action

    Chapter 3: Research Design, Independent Variable, and Preliminary Results

    Chapter 4: The Restrictive War Ethic in Christianity

    Chapter 5: The Permissive War Ethic in Islam

    Chapter 6: The Bi-Modal War Ethic in Buddhism

    Chapter 7: Conclusion


    Davis Brown is a Senior Research Associate at the Association of Religion Data Archives, a Non-Resident Fellow at Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion, and is co-Principal Investigator of the Religious Characteristics of States dataset project.