Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence

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Overview

This groundbreaking anthology provides the most comprehensive overview for understanding the fascinating relationship between religion and violence--historically, culturally, and in the contemporary world. Bringing together writings from scholarly and religious traditions, it is the first volume to unite primary sources--justifications for violence from religious texts, theologians, and activists--with invaluable essays by authoritative scholars.

The first half of the collection includes original source materials justifying violence from various religious perspectives: Hindu, Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist. Showing that religious violence is found in every tradition, these sources include ancient texts and scriptures along with thoughtful essays from theologians wrestling with such issues as military protection and pacifism. The collection also includes the writings of modern-day activists involved in suicide bombings, attacks on abortion clinics, and nerve gas assaults. The book's second half features well-known thinkers reflecting on why religion and violence are so intimately related and includes excerpts from early social theorists such as Durkheim, Marx, and Freud, as well as contemporary thinkers who view the issue of religious violence from literary, anthropological, postcolonial, and feminist perspectives. The editors' brief introductions to each essay provide important historical and conceptual contexts and relate the readings to one another. The diversity of selections and their accessible length make this volume ideal for both students and general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is recommended for any person studying the nature of violence in religion and the impact the notion of sacrifice has on expressions of faith."--Wessel, Bentley, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
This book is recommended for any person studying the nature of violence in religion and the impact the notion of sacrifice has on expressions of faith.
— Wessel, Bentley
Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae - Bentley Wessel
This book is recommended for any person studying the nature of violence in religion and the impact the notion of sacrifice has on expressions of faith.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691129143
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 739,020
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark Juergensmeyer is professor of sociology and global studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His many books include "Terror in the Mind of God". Margo Kitts is associate professor of humanities at Hawai'i Pacific University. She is the author of "Sanctified Violence in Homeric Society".
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Why Is Religion Violent and Violence Religious? 1

Part I: Religious Justifications for Violence
Introduction to Part I 7
Chapter 1. Kautilya 13
"Forms of Treacherous Fights," the Arthashastra 13
Chapter 2. Sun Tzu 17
"Laying Plans," The Art of War 17
Chapter 3. The Bhagavad Gita 20
The Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata 20
Chapter 4. Soho Takuan 25
"Annals of the Sword Taia," The Unfettered Mind 25
Chapter 5. The Hebrew Bible 29
Deuteronomy 20 31
Exodus 23 32
Chapter 6. The Qur’an 35
Surah 2 ("The Cow") 36
Chapter 7. Thomas Aquinas 41
"Whether It Is Always Sinful to Wage War?" Summa Theologica 41
Chapter 8. Reinhold Niebuhr 45
"Why the Christian Church Is Not Pacifist" 45
Chapter 9. Michael Bray 55
"A Time for Revolution?" A Time to Kill 56
Chapter 10. Abd al-Salam Faraj 62
The Neglected Duty 63
Chapter 11. Meir Kahane 69
"War and Peace," The Jewish Idea 69
Chapter 12. Shoko Asahara 75
Declaring Myself the Christ 76
Disaster Comes to the Land of the Rising Sun 77
Chapter 13. 9/11 Conspirator 82
"Last Instructions of 9/11" 83

Part II: Understanding the Religious Role in Violence
Introduction to Part II 93
Chapter 14. Émile Durkheim 100
Elementary Forms of the Religious Life 101
Chapter 15. Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss 108
"Conclusion," Sacrifice: Its Nature and Function 109
Chapter 16. Sigmund Freud 115
Totem and Taboo 116
Chapter 17. René Girard 127
"Sacrifice," Violence and the Sacred 128
Chapter 18. Walter Burkert 141
Homo Necans 141
Chapter 19. Maurice Bloch 152
Prey into Hunter 152
Chapter 20. Georges Bataille 167
Theory of Religion 167
Chapter 21. Karl Marx 174
Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right 174
Chapter 22. Nancy Jay 178
"Sacrifice and Descent," Throughout Your Generations Forever 178
Chapter 23. Elaine Scarry 190
The Body in Pain 191
Chapter 24. Jean Baudrillard 201
The Spirit of Terrorism 201
Chapter 25. Ashis Nandy 210
"The Discreet Charm of Indian Terrorism," The Savage Freud and Other Essays 210

Closing Comments: The Connection between War and Sacrifice 217
Selected Bibliography 223
Permissions 229
About the Editors 231
Index 233

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