Product Description 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. Review 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, University of California, Santa Barbara 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, Iowa State University About the Author James Wellman is associate professor in the Comparative Religion Program at the University of Washington.
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