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Why the Nations Rage: Killing in the Name of God - Revised and Updated Edition / Edition 1

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Mass murder, ethnic cleansing, genocide, hatred, rage: all these have taken on new meaning for Americans after the horrors of September 11, 2001. But that infamous day was not one on which the world changed. Rather, it was the day the United States joined the rest of the world in a struggle far older than most Americans realize. Suddenly, remote spots like Bosnia or Kosovo have become much easier to understand, places that have faced death and destruction for centuries.

This thoughtful book explores much of the background to the strife the globe faces today. In particular, Christopher Catherwood shows how religion and national pride, which are supposed to be positive forces, can become perverted ideologies that arouse hatred, slaughter, and war.

Religion often has been ignored as a vital component in understanding the awakened forces of nationalism. Catherwood not only helps to correct that imbalance but empowers us to comprehend our troubled world. If we understand our history and experiences, and the ways in which they can be manipulated for evil ends, then we are much better placed to solve the problems that grow from them in the present.

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Editorial Reviews
Catherwood's book is a good source for coming to grips with violent religion and its various causes. Catherwood's book is also shorter and easier to read than most of those on this topic.
E. J. Dionne Jr.
Catherwood helps us navigate the seas of meaning that make up identity politics and understand the dynamics that create the ersatz religions of Hitler, Stalin, and now Osama bin Laden. Even those who disagree with Catherwood's answers will appreciate the way he asks the questions.
Akbar Ahmed
The events of September 11th and afterward have confirmed in many minds that a clash of civilizations is in process. It will be a dangerous and complicated world for all of us living in the twenty-first century. That is why those who speak for the dialogue of civilizations assume extraordinary significance. Why the Nations Rage is an excellent example of the dialogue of civilizations. It is an intelligent, scholarly, and yet humane analysis of the world we are living in. I strongly recommend it to all those interested in the major issues that have been thrust upon us after September 11th.
A. E. Dick Howard
Wrestling with problems of religious nationalism and ethnic conflict, we need the perspective that only history can provide. Christopher Catherwood provides just such insight in this crisp and thoughtful study. He gives us an admirably accessible guide, one that many will read with profit, as I have done. It could not be more timely.
Concentrating primarily on the Balkans, historian Catherwood attempts to explain the general phenomena of religious nationalism. He surveys incidents in history when nationalism and religious motivations have mixed together in virulent and violent forms, often pausing to explore theoretical considerations for political science and history. This revised edition, in response to the September 11th attacks on the United States, incorporates discussion of Osama Bin Laden and his Islamist ideology. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742500907
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,157,735
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Catherwood is a historian, lecturer, and writer based in Cambridge, England. He wrote this book while a visiting scholar at Cambridge University's Centre of International Studies and a Rockefeller Resident Fellow at the Institute on Violence, Culture, and Survival, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, the University of Virginia.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Question of Identity
Chapter 2: The New World Disorder
Chapter 3: Imaginary Kingdoms
Chapter 4: The Field of Blackbirds: The Kosovo Myth and The Mountain Wreath
Chapter 5: Clashing Civilizations: A Paradigm Come True?
Chapter 6: The Paradise of Belonging
Chapter 7: "Blasphemers of Our Country's Inherited Faith"
Chapter 8: The Byzantine Inheritance
Chapter 9: The Ottoman Inheritance
Chapter 10: September 11, Islam, Christianity, and Tolerance
Chapter 11: Some Reflections on September 11, 2001
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2002

    Catherwood helps us navigate the seas

    Identity - whether nationalist, religious, cultural and political - at times builds, but also divides and destroys. Catherwood helps us navigate the sea of meaning that make up identity politics. Even those who disagree with Catherwood's answers will appreciate the way he asks the questions.

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