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Terror in the mind of God : the global rise of religious violence /
Mark Juergensmeyer.
3rd ed., rev. and updated.
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2003.
xvii, 319 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
0520240111 (pbk. : alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2003.
0520240111 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 285-303) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and Director of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Flap Copy
"By studying different 'cultures of violence' Mark Juergensmeyer has provided a plausible and imaginative interpretation of this phenomenon. He presents a lucid and compelling argument that does not belittle or demonize its subjects. This is an important contribution to our knowledge of the relationship between religion and violence."--Martha Crenshaw, editor of Terrorism in Context "In this important book Juergensmeyer argues that the violence associated with religion is not an aberration but comes from the fundamental structures of the belief system of all major religions. Juergensmeyer has achieved what very few scholars can do with much success, providing an insightful analysis of the function of religion in national and international life while moving in broad sweeps from culture to culture and continent to continent."--Ainslie T. Embree, former cultural attaché, United States Embassy, New Delhi "Half of the world's thirty most dangerous terrorist groups claim religion as their motivation. How can the word of God sanction acts of terror against human beings ? How can violence become a sacred duty ? These are the questions at the heart of Mark Juergensmeyer's calm, lucid, insightful and compassionate book. What sets it apart is Juergensmeyer's dedicated attempt to talk to former terrorists and work his way into their state of mind. His book shines light on the dark places from which terror springs." -- Michael Ignatieff, author of The Warrior's Honour: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-07-01:
Juergensmeyer offers a cultural and ideological analysis of the emergence of global religious violence that is today championed by communities that foster "cultures of violence" and terror. Chapter-length journalistic case studies explore Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh, and Aum Shinrikyo religious terrorism. The author interprets religiously motivated acts of mind-numbing violence that lack a clear military objective as theater, especially timed, scripted, and staged against the symbols of political or financial power such as The World Trade Center or The Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. True believers wage a cosmic war as a defense of the faith where defeat is unthinkable. They adopt rites of violence and commit themselves to heroic acts of martyrdom and the destruction of their demonized enemies. The chapter "Warrior Power" employs a psychoanalytic view of terrorist careers as a means to symbolic empowerment for groups of marginalized young men who face uncertain paths to manhood, sexual identity, and conventional lives. This books offers chilling insight into the worldview of disparate cultures of religious violence, the inevitability of such cosmic battles, and the unending fanaticism of true believers. The author's conclusion, however, fails to persuade that new forms of religion may arise to cure religious violence. All levels. J. H. Rubin; Saint Joseph College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-12-13:
This dark, enthralling book not only documents the global rise of religious terrorism but seeks to understand the "odd attraction of religion and violence." Juergensmeyer bases his study on scholarly sources, media accounts and personal interviews with convicted terrorists. He exercises caution with the term "terrorist," preferring to emphasize the large religious community of supporters who make violent acts possible rather than the relatively small number who carry them out. Juergensmeyer identifies certain "cultures of violence" via case studies along the spectrum of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Such religious communities often perceive themselves and their way of life as under attack. In Japan, for example, a new branch of "socially prophetic" Buddhists released toxic sarin gas in the Tokyo subway system in 1995, shattering their own nonviolent ethic and harming thousands because they had adopted millenarian prophecies about an imminent end to the world. Juergensmeyer is a powerful, skillful writer whose deeply empathic interviewing techniques allow readers to enter the minds of some of the late 20th century's most feared religious terrorists. Yet he is also a sensitive scholar who aptly dissects religious terrorism as a sociological phenomenon. Later chapters pay special attention to issues of "performance violence," enemy formation, martyrology, satanization and "images of cosmic confrontation." (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Bowker Data Service Summary
Completely revised and updated, this new edition incorporates the events of September 11, 2001 into Mark Juergensmeyer's landmark study of religious terrorism.
Long Description
Completely revised and updated, this new edition of Terror in the Mind of God incorporates the events of September 11, 2001 into Mark Juergensmeyer's landmark study of religious terrorism. Juergensmeyer explores the 1993 World Trade Center explosion, Hamas suicide bombings, the Tokyo subway nerve gas attack, and the killing of abortion clinic doctors in the United States. His personal interviews with 1993 World Trade Center bomber Mahmud Abouhalima, Christian Right activist Mike Bray, Hamas leaders Sheik Yassin and Abdul Azis Rantisi, and Sikh political leader Simranjit Singh Mann, among others, take us into the mindset of those who perpetrate and support violence in the name of religion.
Unpaid Annotation
This well-regarded look at the connection between religion and terrorism has been updated to include events of September 11, 2001. Its focus is to better understand how and why some people are willing to commit acts of violence in the name of their god(s) and a greater good.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Revised Editionp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Terror and Godp. 3
The Meaning of Religious Terrorismp. 4
Seeing Inside Cultures of Violencep. 10
Cultures of Violence
Soldiers for Christp. 19
Mike Bray and Abortion Clinic Bombingsp. 20
Theological Justificationsp. 24
Eric Robert Rudolph and Timothy McVeighp. 30
Catholics and Protestants in Belfastp. 36
Zion Betrayedp. 45
Yoel Lerner and the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabinp. 46
Baruch Goldstein's Attack at the Tomb of the Patriarchsp. 50
Meir Kahane and Jewish Justifications for Violencep. 53
Islam's "Neglected Duty"p. 61
Mahmud Abouhalima and the World Trade Center Bombingp. 62
Abdul Aziz Rantisi and Hamas Suicide Missionsp. 70
Modern Islamic Justifications for Violencep. 80
The Sword of Sikhismp. 85
Simranjit Singh Mann and India's Assassinationsp. 87
Sikh and Hindu Justifications for Violencep. 94
Armageddon in a Tokyo Subwayp. 103
Takeshi Nakamura and the Aum Shinrikyo Assaultp. 106
Can Buddhist Violence Be Justified?p. 113
The Logic of Religious Violence
Theater of Terrorp. 121
Performance Violencep. 124
Setting the Stagep. 128
A Time to Killp. 135
Reaching the Audiencep. 141
Cosmic Warp. 148
Grand Scenariosp. 152
Symbolic Warp. 158
When Symbols Become Deadlyp. 163
Martyrs and Demonsp. 167
Sacrificial Victimsp. 168
The Invention of Enemiesp. 174
America as Enemyp. 181
Satanization and the Stages of Empowermentp. 185
Warriors' Powerp. 190
Empowering Marginal Menp. 191
Why Guys Throw Bombsp. 198
Fighting for the Rule of Godp. 210
The Mind of Godp. 219
Empowering Religionp. 221
Postmodern Terrorp. 228
Destroying Violencep. 233
Notesp. 251
Interviews and Correspondencep. 281
Bibliographyp. 285
Indexp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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