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Holy terrors : thinking about religion after September 11 /
Bruce Lincoln.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003.
description
xi, 142 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0226481921 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003.
isbn
0226481921 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4749410
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Bruce Lincoln is the Caroline E. Haskell Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago
Excerpts
Flap Copy
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, it is tempting to regard their perpetrators as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln shows in this timely offering, were profoundly and intensely religious. What we need, then, after September 11 is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. With rigor and incisiveness,Holy Terrorsexamines the implications of September 11 for our understanding of religion and how it interrelates with politics and culture. Lincoln begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 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 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden's videotape released hours later. Each speech, he argues, betrays telling contradictions. Bin Laden, for instance, conceded implicitly that Islam is not unitary, as his religious rhetoric would have it, but is torn by deep political divisions. And Bush, steering clear of religious rhetoric for the sake of political unity, still reassured his constituents through coded allusions that American policy is firmly rooted in faith. Lincoln ultimately broadens his discussion further to consider the role of religion since September 11 and how it came to be involved with such fervent acts of political revolt. In the postcolonial world, he argues, religion is widely considered the most viable and effective instrument of rebellion against economic and social injustices. It is the institution through which unified communities ensure the integrity and continuity of their culture in the wake of globalization. Brimming with insights such as these,Holy Terrorswill become one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-07-01:
Lincoln (Univ. of Chicago) recognizes that there can be a very close and serious interaction, as well as a distinction, among religion, culture, and politics. The first part of this book involves a close reading of key texts, including the instruction manual that Mohammad Atta and others studied, Bush's address to the nation on October 7, bin Laden's speech released the same day, and Jerry Falwell and Pat Roberts' interpretations of September 11. Following the first three chapters on studying key texts, the author turns to other data related to three movements: (1) the period from the Reformation through the Enlightenment, when religion in Europe took "a much diminished role in culture"; (2) 19th- to 20th-century colonial and neocolonial domination, which "sought to impose [a] minimalist model of religion on the rest of the world"; and (3) post-Cold War reactions, when activists "sought to reassert religion's dominating position in culture." This is an important scholarly work for all seeking to evaluate and understand the complexities of the role that religion plays within sociopolitical revolutionary change. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers and undergraduates. T. M. Pucelik Bradley University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2003
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Holy Terrors' examines the implications of September 11th for an understanding of religion and how it interrelates with politics and culture. The work also considers the role of religion and its association with acts of political revolt.
Main Description
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, it is tempting to regard their perpetrators as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln shows in this timely offering, were profoundly and intensely religious. What we need, then, after September 11 is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. With rigor and incisiveness, Holy Terrors examines the implications of September 11 for our understanding of religion and how it interrelates with politics and culture. Lincoln begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 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 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden's videotape released hours later. Each speech, he argues, betrays telling contradictions. Bin Laden, for instance, conceded implicitly that Islam is not unitary, as his religious rhetoric would have it, but is torn by deep political divisions. And Bush, steering clear of religious rhetoric for the sake of political unity, still reassured his constituents through coded allusions that American policy is firmly rooted in faith. Lincoln ultimately broadens his discussion further to consider the role of religion since September 11 and how it came to be involved with such fervent acts of political revolt. In the postcolonial world, he argues, religion is widely considered the most viable and effective instrument of rebellion against economic and social injustices. It is the institution through which unified communities ensure the integrity and continuity of their culture in the wake of globalization. Brimming with insights such as these, Holy Terrors will become one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion.
Main Description
It is tempting to view the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln reveals in this insightful offering, were profoundly and intensely religious. What we need now, he argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. With great rigor and incisiveness, Holy Terrors sorts through the details and the religious rhetoric of September 11--in the highjackers' instructions, George W. Bush's national address, Osama bin Laden's videotaped reply, and Pat Robertson's notorious interview with Jerry Falwell-and examines their implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
The Study of Religion in the Current Political Momentp. 1
Symmetric Dualisms: Bush and bin Laden on October 7p. 19
Jihads, Jeremiads, and the Enemy Withinp. 33
On the Relation of Religion and Culturep. 51
Religious Conflict and the Postcolonial Statep. 62
Religion, Rebellion, Revolutionp. 77
Final Instructions to the Hijackers of September 11, Found in the Luggage of Mohamed Atta and Two Other Copiesp. 93
George W. Bush, Address to the Nation, October 7, 2001p. 99
Osama bin Laden, Videotaped Address, October 7, 2001p. 102
Transcript of Pat Robertson's Interview with Jerry Falwell Broadcast on the 700 Club, September 13, 2001p. 104
Notesp. 109
Indexp. 139
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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