God of Battles: Holy Wars of Christianity and Islam

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Overview

What makes a war "holy," and who decides that it is? God of Battles examines the origins of holy war, and how it affects the modern world. Peter Partner shows how the ideal of the crusade, "God's War," came to permeate medieval Christendom, and how it influenced later Western societies, especially in their attitudes to colonialism. Above all, this book examines the reasons behind the fear that Islamic fundamentalism excites in the West. From the pre-Christian era to the Gulf War, this book places the jihad of the East and the Crusade of the West in their historical context, and warns against allowing crusading war propaganda to affect our judgments today.

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Editorial Reviews

Sunday Times
The best part of this excellent book concerns the shifting traditions of Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth century.... This is the only book I have read that comes to a fair and intelligent judgement on the Ayatollah Khomeini.
— Andrew Wheatcroft
Irish Times
Partner writes with impressive sensitivity towards the subjects he is discussing. He is aware of the need to view different situations in their own contexts.... This book replaces caricature with a sympathetic, though not unduly flattering portrait.
— David Edgar
Literary Review
[Peter Partner] is just the man to provide a rational examination of the past ... a healthy antidote to the customary media debates about 'terrorism.'
— Richard Gott
Sunday Times - Andrew Wheatcroft
The best part of this excellent book concerns the shifting traditions of Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth century.... This is the only book I have read that comes to a fair and intelligent judgement on the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Irish Times - David Edgar
Partner writes with impressive sensitivity towards the subjects he is discussing. He is aware of the need to view different situations in their own contexts.... This book replaces caricature with a sympathetic, though not unduly flattering portrait.
Literary Review - Richard Gott
[Peter Partner] is just the man to provide a rational examination of the past ... a healthy antidote to the customary media debates about 'terrorism.'
From the Publisher
"The best part of this excellent book concerns the shifting traditions of Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth century.... This is the only book I have read that comes to a fair and intelligent judgement on the Ayatollah Khomeini."—Andrew Wheatcroft, Sunday Times

"Partner writes with impressive sensitivity towards the subjects he is discussing. He is aware of the need to view different situations in their own contexts.... This book replaces caricature with a sympathetic, though not unduly flattering portrait."—David Edgar, Irish Times

"[Peter Partner] is just the man to provide a rational examination of the past ... a healthy antidote to the customary media debates about 'terrorism.'"—Richard Gott, Literary Review

Andrew Wheatcroft
The best part of this excellent book concerns the shifting traditions of Islam in the 19th and 20th century . . . .This is the only book I have read that comes to a fair and intelligent judgment on the Ayatollah Khomeini. -- Sunday Times(London)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691002354
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/19/1998
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
MAPS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
1 Holy Wars of the Ancient Near East
2 Jewish Sects in the Hellenistic World
3 Islam and War
4 Christianity and War
5 Muslim and Christian Holy War
6 Two Societies Organized for Holy War
7 Outside the Holy Wars
8 Holy War, Colonies and Conversion
9 Decay and Transformation of Holy War
10 Holy War and the European Empires
11 Modernity and Political Islam
12 Faith, Government and Dissent
13 Western Dreams, Memories and Fears
14 Assumed Identities
GLOSSARY
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE
NOTES
READING LIST
INDEX

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