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.
James Wellman is associate professor in the Comparative Religion Program at the University of Washington.
1 Introduction: Religion and Violence: Past, Present and Future Part 2 The Ancient and Medieval World Chapter 2 Dismemberment, Creation, and Ritual: Images of Divine Violence in the Ancient Near East Chapter 3 Making Memory: Ritual, Rhetoric, and Violence in the Roman Triumph Chapter 4 Taming the Beast: Rabbinic Pacification of Second Century Jewish Nationalism Chapter 5 Violent Yearnings for the Kingdom of God: Munster's Militant Anabaptism Chapter 6 Imperial Christianity and Sacred War in Byzantium Chapter 7 Founding an Empire of Sacrifice: Innocent Domination and the Quaker Martyrs of Boston, 1659-1661 Part 7 The Modern World Chapter 8 Holy Culture Wars: Patterns of Ethno-Religious Violence in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century China Chapter 9 Femicide as Terrorism: The Case of Uzbekistan's Unveiling Chapter 10 Monks, Guns and Peace: Theravada Buddhism and Political Violence Chapter 11 Avoiding Mass Violence at Rajneeshpuram Chapter 12 "Obliterating an Idol of the Modern Age": The New Iconoclasm from the Twin Buddhas to the Twin Towers Chapter 13 Is War Normal for American Evangelical Religion? Chapter 14 On Political Theology, Imperial Ambitions, and Messianic Pretensions: Some Ancient and Modern Continuities