In ""New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism"", Barry Cooper applies the insights of Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism. Cooper points out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the ""spiritual motivation"" that is central to the actions of terrorists today. When spiritual elements are discussed in conventional literature, they are grouped under the opaque term religion. A more conceptually adequate approach is provided by Voegelin's political science and, in particular, by his Schellingian term pneumopathology - a disease of the spirit. Cooper concludes with a chapter on the uniqueness of terrorist networks, their limitations, and the means by which they can be dealt with. In the ongoing conversations among specialists in terrorist studies, as well as the ordinary discourse of citizens in western democracies wishing to understand the world around them, this book adds a distinctive voice.
BARRY COOPER is Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of numerous books, including Eric Voegelin and the Foundations of Modern Political Science; Faith and Political Philosophy: The Correspondence between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, 1934-1964; and Philosophy, Literature, and Politics; Essays Honoring Ellis Sandoz, all available from the University of Missouri Press.