Violence and the worlds religious traditions : an introduction

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Introduction

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Violence and the World's Religious Traditions: An Introduction | Radicalisation Research

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Is religion inherently predisposed to violence? Or has religion been taken hostage by a politics of aggression?

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The years since the end of the Cold War have shown a noticeable shift in patterns of religious extremism, accentuating the uncomfortable, complex, and oft-misunderstood relationship between religion and violence. The essays in this succinct new volume examine that relationship by offering a well-rounded look at violence as it appears in the world's most prominent religious traditions, exploring Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, African, and Pacific Island texts and practices.

Must a religion be centered on supernatural beings? Does the term refer to social behavior or private? Is dogma or practice the key to its essence?

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Is it a philosophical system or a poetic structure? And how should violence be defined? From whose perspective and at what point is an act to be deemed violent? What act cannot be construed as violent in some way? For instance, are we talking only about war and genocide, or psychological coercion, social restrictions and binding categorizations?

Collectively, the essays in this volume reflect the complex and contested meanings of both religion and violence, providing overviews of engagements with violence in Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, African, and Pacific Island religious traditions.


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