Between Eden and Armageddon: The Future of World Religions, Violence, and Peacemaking / Edition 1

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Recent years have seen a meteoric rise in the power and importance of organized religion in many parts of the world. At the same time, there has been a significant increase in violence perpetrated in the name of religion. While much has been written on the relationship between violence and religious militancy, history shows that religious people have also played a critical role in peacemaking within numerous cultures. In the new century, will religion bring upon further catastrophes? Or will it provide human civilization with methods of care, healing, and the creation of peaceful and just societies?
In this groundbreaking book, Marc Gopin integrates the study of religion with the study of conflict resolution. He argues that religion can play a critical role in constructing a global community of shared moral commitments and vision--a community that can limit conflict to its nonviolent, constructive variety. If we examine religious myths and moral traditions, Gopin argues, we can understand why and when religious people come to violence, and why and when they become staunch peacemakers. He shows that it is the conservative expression of most religious traditions that presents the largest challenge in terms of peace and conflict. Gopin considers ways to construct traditional paradigms that are committed to peacemaking on a deep level and offers such a paradigm for the case of Judaism. Throughout, Gopin emphasizes that developing the potential of the world's religions for coping with conflict demands a conscious process on the part of peacemakers and theologians. His innovative and carefully argued study also offers a broad set of recommendations for policy planners both inside and outside of government.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[O]ffers a nuanced understanding of the relationship of religion and violence."--Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195157253
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.19 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Gopin, author of Holy War, Holy Peace (Oxford, 2002), is James H. Laue Professor and Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction
1. Alternative Global Futures in the Balance
2. Between Religion and Conflict Resolution: Mapping a New Field of Study
II. A Critique of Current Secular ad Religious Approaches to Conflict and Peace
3. Why Modern Culture Fails to Understand Religiously Motivated Violence
4. What id Midding from Religious Approaches to War and Peace: Judaism an Islam as Paradigms
5. Modern Jewish Orthodox Theologies of Interreligious Coexistence: Strengths and Weaknesses
III. Paradigms of Religious Peacemaking in a Multicultural and Secular Context
6. Healing/Secular Conflict: The Case of Contemporary Israel
7. Conflict Resolution as a Religious Experience: Contemporary Mennonite Peacemaking
New Paradigms of Religion and Conflict Resolution: A Case Study of Judaism
IV Conclusion
9. Systematic Recommendations for Intervention in Contemporary Conflicts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2001

    About the Future of World Religions, Violence, and Peacemaking

    In this work, Marc Gopin has risen well above his original expertise. Between Eden and Armageddon is a book that gathers insights from multiple disciplines and masterfully merges them into an extraordinary and motivating piece. His work provides us with sophisticated analyses that range from the contemporary world order to the deepest and most delicate expressions of the human experience. This author is well aware of the usefulness of the rationalistic approaches and theories regarding conflict and war. But Gopin takes us a step further, by understanding that the wounds of violence and the role of religion need to be assessed through a multifaceted and complex lens. Between Eden and Armageddon offers clear lessons about the delicate balances of faith and hopelessness, creation and annihilation, peace and war. Anybody who is interested in international relations, politics, war, culture, religious traditions, or psychology, would greatly benefit from this excellent work. For those who are trying to understand the role of religion in violent conflict, this book is a must.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2001

    Ancient Secrets for Modern Solutions

    Although this treatise is categorized under 'Religion',I was moved by the Secular Universality of recommendations for conflict resolution Domestically and Globally. If humanity, in its entirety, cares to continue to survive, then not only should these guidelines and paradigms be considered by world religious leaders, heads of global Governments and international business leaders, but this text should be studied by teachers and parents of children who are the future leaders of every society. Everytime we see conflict in our homes,workplaces, schools or across continents, and we are witness to futile attempts at peacemaking or peacekeeping, we must know that the killing can be stopped by shifting our own paradigms of 'what to do about it' and 'how'. The old saying about 'standing in my shoes', or 'living in my reality' are just a part of the ancient secrets of compassionate living that Marc Gopin has brought into a format for changing the world. Everyone who prays for peace on earth,no matter what form the prayer takes, wants the same thing.The answers are all around us if we just listen to each other.The guideline for universal compassion is here if humanity truly wants it.

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