Why We Kill: Understanding Violence Across Cultures and Disciplines, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Why We Kill

Understanding Violence Across Cultures and Disciplines, 2nd Edition

Edited by Nancy Loucks, Sally Smith Holt, Joanna R. Adler


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780367271664
pub: 2020-03-31
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 31st March 2020
Hardback: 9780367271657
pub: 2020-03-31
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 31st March 2020

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Why We Kill examines violence in many of its manifestations, exploring how culture plays a role in people's understanding of violent action. Fully updated, with new chapters covering more conventional forms of homicide and mass shootings in the USA, this book examines psychological, ethical, political, and moral justifications for extremes in human behaviour. It augments international a debate on a myriad of forms of killing, including Infanticide, serial killings, war, terrorism, abortion, honour killings, euthanasia, suicide bombings and genocide, and discusses the different types of killing and how people are able to maintain apparent contradictions in their moral beliefs. Each chapter presents a full picture of their subjects and many sides of the debate in order to increase readers’ understanding of the discussion, regardless of their own perspectives. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of criminology, psychology, sociology, politics, law and religion.

Table of Contents


Religion, Culture, and Killing

Nancy Loucks, Sally Smith Holt, and Joanna R. Adler

1 Homicide in Context

Sophie Pike, Cherly Allsop, and Fiona Brookman

2 ‘You Always Hurt the One You Love’: Homicide in a Domestic Context

Maria Kaspersson

3 Serial Killing

Elizabeth Yardley

4 Mass Shootings in America

Frederic Lemieux

5 Capital Punishment: Creating More Victims?

Seema Kandelia

6 Abortion

Lawrence M. Hinman

7 Euthanasia – The Moral Landscape

Lawrence M. Hinman

8 Suicide

Kay Nooney

9 Terrorism – A Unique Form of Political Violence

Rohan Guneratna

10 Collective Violence and War

Daya Somasundaram and T. Umaharan

11 Massacre at Murambi: The Rank and File Killers of Genocide

Stephen D. Smith


About the Editors

Prof. Nancy Loucks OBE, B.A. in Criminology cum laude, M. Phil. and Ph. D. in Criminology (Cantab) is Chief Executive of Families Outside, a national Scottish charity that works on behalf of families affected by imprisonment, as well as Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Law, Crime & Justice. Prof. Loucks' work has included extensive research in criminology including the imprisonment of women, aspects of prison discipline and control, violence and bullying, use of drugs and alcohol, suicides and self-injury, and the impact of imprisonment on prisoners’ families. Other projects have included research into the employment of people with a criminal record in the European Union, human rights aspects of religious communities in prisons, and risk assessment of serious sexual and violent offenders. Prof. Loucks was awarded in OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list for services to Education and Human Rights.

Prof. Joanna R. Adler, Head of the Department of Psychology and Sport Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, B. Sc. (hons); M. Phil. (Cantab.); Ph. D.; C. Psychol. Forens.; FHEA is a Professor in Forensic Psychology. She is the Postgraduate Programme Leader for M.Sc. Forensic Psychology. She has conducted research in areas including fear, power, and victimisation in prisons; effects of fear of crime on psychological well-being; intra-familial violence; police stress; the punishment of young offenders; radicalisation of "at risk youth" and hate crimes.

Dr. Sally Smith Holt, School of Religion, Belmont University B.A., M. Div., M. A., Ph. D. earned her Ph.D. from the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University. She is interested in philosophical and theological ethics and related issues of justice. Much of her current work focuses on world religions and possibilities for dialogue. She works with study abroad programs in Spain and also serves as Site Coordinator for Central Seminary. Dr. Holt is a professor of religion at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology