The Religious Roots of the Syrian Conflict: The Remaking of the Fertile Crescent

The Religious Roots of the Syrian Conflict: The Remaking of the Fertile Crescent

by Mark Tomass

Paperback(1st ed. 2016)

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Explores the historical origins of Syria's religious sects and their dominance of the Syrian social scene. It identifies their distinct beliefs and relates how the actions of the religious authorities and political entrepreneurs acting on behalf of their sects expose them to sectarian violence, culminating in the dissolution of the nation-state.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349708864
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 02/20/2016
Series: Twenty-first Century Perspectives on War, Peace, and Human Conflict
Edition description: 1st ed. 2016
Pages: 281
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Mark Tomass is Adjunct Professor at Harvard University Extension School, USA. His research focuses on civil conflict in the Middle East, organized crime, and monetary and credit crises. His writing draws from his experience as a native of Syria and from living through the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-90 and the Muslim Brothers' Revolt of 1976-82.

Table of Contents

1. The Significance of Religious Identity
2. The Fertile Crescent Meets the Muslim Arabs
3. Formation of the Jewish Identity
4. Formation of Christian Sectarian Identities
5. Formation of Muslim Sectarian Identities
6. The Islamization of the Fertile Crescent
7. Social and Psychological Origins of Religious Conflict
8. The New Media and the Islamic Awakening
9. From the Arab Spring to the Revolt of the Sunna
10. The Remaking of the Fertile Crescent
11. Aleppo War Photos 2012-2014

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"With particular relevance to understanding the genesis of the regional civil war sparked in 2011 as a result of the 'Arab Spring,' The Religious Roots of the Syrian Conflict contains thoughtful and illuminating portraits of Syria's religious and sectarian communities, describes their origins and development over time, and identifies sources of intractable conflict among some groups. Tomass provides useful and moving contributions to our understanding of these societies and communities as he engages with and advances recent scholarship on religious studies, economic history, the study of democratization, Syrian history, and the history of the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party in Iraq and Syria." – Hannibal Travis, Professor of Law, Florida International University, USA

"The big hole in how the sectarian Middle East persists to roil global relations has been filled with this richly documented, highly readable book. Tomass moves beyond jargon, theory, and partisanship that have so obscured successful strategy with regard to the Arab and Muslim region. Reading these pages points both to the need to recognize the justified passing of the democratic nation-state ideal in the region and the possibilities for multi-religious tolerance there, however remote." - Eden Naby, cultural historian and author of The Assyrians of the Middle East: The History and Culture of a Minority Christian Community

"This excellent work examines a wide range of subjects to help general readers understand the complexities of the Middle East. The vision the author offers shows his in-depth acquaintance with general Semitic studies, which allows him to provide the reader with a historical, social, and cultural perspective, thus converting this contribution into a highly rich guidebook for Western readers." – Efrem Yildiz, Professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Studies, University of Salamanca, Spain

"Utilizing a superb systematic approach of material culture and drawing on personal experience, Tomass weaves a well framed and engaging narrative of the Syrian conflict through a multi-disciplinary lens. His theory and analysis of religious/sectarian identity and its role and usage by communities and elites, internally and externally, and throughout the historical continuum of Syrian history, finally elucidates a feasible alternative to the overly simplistic and romanticized assumption of laying the blame solely at the foot of external actors. He grants the people of Syria themselves the agency of possibility but also culpability in the current state of unrest." – Sargon Donabed, Associate Professor of History, Roger Williams University, USA

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