“Violence and the World’s Religious Traditions” (Juergensmeyer et. al., eds.)

In December, Oxford University Press will release Violence and the World’s Religious Traditions: An Introduction edited by Mark Juergensmeyer (University of California), Margo Kitts (Hawai’i Pacific University), and Michael Jerryson (Youngstown State University). The publisher’s description follows:

violence-and-the-worlds-religious-traditionsIs religion inherently predisposed to violence? Or has religion been taken hostage by a politics of aggression? The years since the end of the Cold War have shown a noticeable shift in patterns of religious extremism, accentuating the uncomfortable, complex, and oft-misunderstood relationship between religion and violence. The essays in this succinct new volume examine that relationship by offering a well-rounded look at violence as it appears in the world’s most prominent religious traditions, exploring Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, African, and Pacific Island texts and practices.

The essays in Violence and the World’s Religious Traditions explore the ways in which specific religions have justified acts of destruction, in history, in scripture, and in the contemporary world. But the collection also offers an investigation of religious symbols and practices, shedding new light on the very nature of religion and confronting the question of how deeply intertwined are violence and faith.

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