Holy Terrors Second Edition

Author: Bruce Lincoln
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226482073
Format: PDF, ePub
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It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity. With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion. “Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century “From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal

Understanding Fundamentalism

Author: Richard T. Antoun
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742562097
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The second edition of Understanding Fundamentalism provides a compelling and up to date picture of religious reactions against the modern secular world. Comparing Christian, Islamic, and Jewish fundamentalist movements, anthropologist Richard Antoun shows how all three share common characteristics. The new edition addresses fundamentalism in the post-9/11 world, transnational religion, and the impact of religious migration on Afghanistan and Western Europe.

On Suicide Bombing

Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511973
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber" quickly became the icon of "an Islamic culture of death"& mdash;a conceptual leap that struck Asad as problematic. Is there a "religiously-motivated terrorism?" If so, how does it differ from other cruelties? What makes its motivation "religious"? Where does it stand in relation to other forms of collective violence? Drawing on his extensive scholarship in the study of secular and religious traditions as well as his understanding of social, political, and anthropological theory and research, Asad questions Western assumptions regarding death and killing. He scrutinizes the idea of a "clash of civilizations," the claim that "Islamic jihadism" is the essence of modern terror, and the arguments put forward by liberals to justify war in our time. He critically engages with a range of explanations of suicide terrorism, exploring many writers' preoccupation with the motives of perpetrators. In conclusion, Asad examines our emotional response to suicide (including suicide terrorism) and the horror it invokes. On Suicide Bombing is an original and provocative analysis critiquing the work of intellectuals from both the left and the right. Though fighting evil is an old concept, it has found new and disturbing expressions in our contemporary "war on terror." For Asad, it is critical that we remain aware of the forces shaping the discourse surrounding this mode of violence, and by questioning our assumptions about morally good and morally evil ways of killing, he illuminates the fragile contradictions that are a part of our modern subjectivity.

Martyrdom and Memory

Author: Elizabeth Anne Castelli
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231129862
Format: PDF, ePub
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Elizabeth A. Castelli explores the central role of persecution in the early development of Christian ideas, institutions, and cultural forms and shows how the legacy of Christian martyrdom plays out in today's world. Martyrs are produced, Castelli suggests, not by the lived experience of particular historical individuals but by the stories that are later told about them. Using Maurice Halbwachs's theoretical framework of collective memory and drawing on a wide range of Christian sources, Castelli approaches the writings of early Christians and their public and ideologically potent accounts of martyrdom. In their words, the martyr's story becomes a "usable past," a "living tradition" for Christian communities, and an especially effective vehicle for transmitting ideas about gender, power, and sanctity. In the wake of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School, modern "martyr cults" have emerged as the unlikely legacy of early Christian martyrdom. Focusing specifically on the martyr cult associated with one of the tragedy's victims, Castelli looks at how the Columbine story renders suffering redemptive and meaningful and the way in which "religion" has made a return to center stage in our culture, with the martyr as its most contentious yet riveting star.

Buddhist Fury

Author: Michael K. Jerryson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019933966X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Buddhist violence is not a well-known concept. In fact, it is generally considered an oxymoron. An image of a Buddhist monk holding a handgun or the idea of a militarized Buddhist monastery tends to stretch the imagination; yet these sights exist throughout southern Thailand. Michael Jerryson offers an extensive examination of one of the least known but longest-running conflicts of Southeast Asia. Part of this conflict, based primarily in Thailand's southernmost provinces, is fueled by religious divisions. Thailand's total population is over 92 percent Buddhist, but over 85 percent of the people in the southernmost provinces are Muslim. Since 2004, the Thai government has imposed martial law over the territory and combatted a grass-roots militant Malay Muslim insurgency. Buddhist Fury reveals the Buddhist parameters of the conflict within a global context. Through fieldwork in the conflict area, Jerryson chronicles the habits of Buddhist monks in the militarized zone. Many Buddhist practices remain unchanged. Buddhist monks continue to chant, counsel the laity, and accrue merit. Yet at the same time, monks zealously advocate Buddhist nationalism, act as covert military officers, and equip themselves with guns. Buddhist Fury displays the methods by which religion alters the nature of the conflict and shows the dangers of this transformation.

Playing for God

Author: Annie Blazer
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479898015
Format: PDF, Kindle
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When sports ministry first emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, its founders imagined male celebrity athletes as powerful salespeople who could deliver a message of Christian strength: “If athletes can endorse shaving cream, razor blades, and cigarettes, surely they can endorse the Lord, too,” reasoned Fellowship of Christian Athletes founder Don McClanen. But combining evangelicalism and sport did much more than serve as an advertisement for religion: it gave athletes the opportunity to think about the embodied experiences of sport as a way to experience intimate connection with the divine. As sports ministry developed, it focused on individual religious experiences and downplayed celebrity sales power, opening the door for female Christian athletes to join and eventually dominate sports ministry. Today, women are the majority of participants in sports ministry in the United States. In Playing for God, Annie Blazer offers an exploration of the history and religious lives of Christian athletes, showing that evangelical engagement with popular culture can carry unintended consequences. When sport became an avenue for embodied worship, it forced a reckoning with evangelical teachings about the body. Female Christian athletes increasingly turned to their own bodies to understand their religious identity, and in so doing, came to question evangelical mainstays on gender and sexuality. What was once a male-dominated masculinist project of sports engagement became a female-dominated movement that challenged evangelical ideas on femininity, marriage hierarchy, and the sinfulness of homosexuality. Though evangelicalism has not changed sporting culture, for those involved in sports ministry, sport has changed evangelicalism.

The 9 11 Commission Report

Author:
Publisher: Government Printing Office
ISBN: 0160891809
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This edition has been designated as the only official U.S. Government edition of the 9-11 Commission’s Final Report. It provides a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. It also includes recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

Landscapes of the Secular

Author: Nicolas Howe
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022637680X
Format: PDF
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“What does it mean to see the American landscape in a secular way?” asks Nicolas Howe at the outset of this innovative, ambitious, and wide-ranging book. It’s a surprising question because of what it implies: we usually aren’t seeing American landscapes through a non-religious lens, but rather as inflected by complicated, little-examined concepts of the sacred. Fusing geography, legal scholarship, and religion in a potent analysis, Howe shows how seemingly routine questions about how to look at a sunrise or a plateau or how to assess what a mountain is both physically and ideologically, lead to complex arguments about the nature of religious experience and its implications for our lives as citizens. In American society—nominally secular but committed to permitting a diversity of religious beliefs and expressions—such questions become all the more fraught and can lead to difficult, often unsatisfying compromises regarding how to interpret and inhabit our public lands and spaces. A serious commitment to secularism, Howe shows, forces us to confront the profound challenges of true religious diversity in ways that often will have their ultimate expression in our built environment. This provocative exploration of some of the fundamental aspects of American life will help us see the land, law, and society anew.

Theorizing Myth

Author: Bruce Lincoln
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226482026
Format: PDF, Docs
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In Theorizing Myth, Bruce Lincoln traces the way scholars and others have used the category of "myth" to fetishize or deride certain kinds of stories, usually those told by others. He begins by showing that mythos yielded to logos not as part of a (mythic) "Greek miracle," but as part of struggles over political, linguistic, and epistemological authority occasioned by expanded use of writing and the practice of Athenian democracy. Lincoln then turns his attention to the period when myth was recuperated as a privileged type of narrative, a process he locates in the political and cultural ferment of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Here, he connects renewed enthusiasm for myth to the nexus of Romanticism, nationalism, and Aryan triumphalism, particularly the quest for a language and set of stories on which nation-states could be founded. In the final section of this wide-ranging book, Lincoln advocates a fresh approach to the study of myth, providing varied case studies to support his view of myth—and scholarship on myth—as ideology in narrative form.