Publication date:

23 February 2007

Length of book:

280 pages

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742558236

Intended for students as well as scholars of religion and violence, Belief and Bloodshed discusses how the relationship between religion and violence is not unique to a post-9/11 world—it has existed throughout all of recorded history and culture. The book makes clear the complex interactions between religion, violence, and politics to show that religion as always innocent or always evil is misguided, and that rationalizations by religion for political power and violence are not new. Chronologically organized, the book shows religiously motivated violence across a variety of historical periods and cultures, moving from the ancient to medieval to the modern world, ending with an essay comparing the speeches of an ancient king to the speeches of the current U.S. President.
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.