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Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence across Time and Tradition Hardcover – Feb 23 2007
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This cross-disciplinary group of scholars provides fascinating studies across historical periods and religious traditions - all centered around the crucial theoretical point that religious group identities both promote solidarity and can facilitate violence. An important contribution to a timely and urgent conversation. (Rhys H. Williams, University of Cincinnati, Editor, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion)
The case studies in this interesting volume show that religion and violence have been associated throughout history and around the world. From the ancient Near East to 20th century China and contemporary Thailand, violent acts have been committed in the name of religion. Drawing on diverse traditions and theoretical perspectives, this lively volume enlarges our understanding of this dark attraction between bloodshed and belief. (Mark Juergensmeyer, Professor of Sociology and Global Studies, University of California)
Belief and Bloodshed has a definite advantage over similar ones in that it offers a fairly global and historical perspective on its subject. ...All those interested in the nexus of religion and violence - either from a purely academic standpoint or with practical intentions toward the reclamation of faith from its historical and lamentable darker tendencies - would be well served by this important book. (Encyclopedia Of Arkansas History and Culture)
Of the many volumes published on religious violence in the last few years, few rise to the level of Belief and Bloodshed.... A definite advantage over similar ones in that it offers a fairly global and historical perspective on its subject, rather than focusing on the monotheistic traditions and the modern age, as is popular....All those interested in the nexus of religion and violence―either from a purely academic standpoint or with practical intentions toward the reclamation of faith from its historical and lamentable darker tendencies―would be well served by this important book. (Ploughshares Magazine)
Global in scope and acutely sensitive to local manifestations of religious violence in ancient and modern times, this is the best anthology on religion and violence available today. No one interested in the relationship between religion and violence can afford to ignore this intelligent and well-rounded discussion. (Hector Avalos, associate professor of religious studies, Iowa State University; author of Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence)
About the Author
James Wellman is associate professor in the Comparative Religion Program at the University of Washington.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Belief and Bloodshed begins with Mr. Scott Noegel providing his readers a vivid description of ritu-alized brutality citing the discovery of religious temples adorned with piles of human hands, heads, and phalluses. Mr. Noegel explains how the ancient cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia would execute these brutal acts in accordance with the divine will of their gods.
Mr. Charles McDaniel introduces us to the city of Munster, Germany in the year 1534. Waging a zealous rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church, a group of Anabaptists discarded their com-mitment to non-violence and picked up their swords for battle. What followed was a significantly violent encounter as the Anabaptists initially repelled Catholic dominance over the city. The vio-lence recruited in the Anabaptists' rebellion paled, however, in comparison to Rome's retaliation of merciless torture and execution of the revolts leaders and participants.
Ms. Marianne Kamp details the mass murders of unveiled Muslim woman in 20th century Uzbeki-stan. As the Communist Party of the Soviet Union gained ground, their official atheist position de-nounced the practice of Muslim traditions, including the veiling of Muslim woman. Over a three-year period over 2500 Muslim women were slaughtered by Communist activist who opposed any Muslim woman donning a hijab.
Mr. Wellman and his colleagues walk their readers through numerous examples such as these throughout history, presenting the intricate interactions between historical cultures, religions, and political agendas. In some cases religions were the victims of violent action, in others religious fig-ures spearheaded violent crusades against opposing beliefs. In every case, the ensuing violent ac-tivities were rationalized in order to achieve a higher religious or political purpose. After conclud-ing Belief and Bloodshed, one emerges with a clear representation of various religious and cultural backdrops that have inspired violent actions throughout the history of man.
This is a great read for any wishing to learn more about the religious conflict going on throughout the world, both past and present.
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