By Thomas Block
This unsettling booklet reports particular circumstances of “holy battle” as proposed within the holy books of the most important religion traditions, and illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to give an explanation for the religious quest. the writer proposes that this intermingling of warfare and spirituality prepares the inhabitants for the arrival of conflict. battle as religious perform appears to be like inevitable, because of this religio-violent schooling that is woven via all religion traditions. The institutional mixing of the sacred and human aggression seem to be basic to human society. the second one element of the publication particularizes this dynamic inside our modern, American social and political milieu. It concentrates at the political language and speeches of yank politicians when you consider that 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq struggle and its continuation during the last decade, exhibiting precisely how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society. This booklet has huge strength readership, together with lecturers and lay readers taken with the fields of struggle, political technological know-how, peace and clash solution, faith, spirituality and common social heritage. scholars from West element to St. John’s of Annapolis will locate it tough and informative, might be altering their perception of conflict, faith and human society
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Extra info for A fatal addiction : war in the name of God
64 Hardly confined to American society, another piece in the New Yorker shared a firsthand account of the joys of being on the happy end of the slaughter in Rwanda (1994). Girumuhatse , a Rwandese participant in the slaughter, told his story to writer Philip Gourevitch: I had always been told that Girumuhatse killed with a machete, but he said that he had preferred to use a masu, a nail studded club. ” Nothing seemed to have troubled him when he went to work with his club, and I wondered whether he had enjoyed it.
This dynamic will be explicitly explored further along in this book, as I examine the language of the leaders in the United States and of its stated enemy, Osama bin Laden, both of whom used virtually the same religious idiom to describe their fight against the other. 79 The fusion between war and God is complete. They are not only inseparable but interchangeable. For many people in human civilization, war is God. A God demanding ever-more human sacrifice, blood which knits the survivors together into a cohesive society, one nation under war.
We cease to structure our world in our customary way and turn to the ways of a fairy tale or myth . . ”77 Holy war — or most wars, as nations rarely undertake a war that they don’t consider holy — becomes a metaphor for the struggle between God’s will and the forces of resistance. It is more than a nationalistic calling. 78 Both sides in the carnage act with God on their side. All citizens fight to protect the greater good against the forces of evil and chaos. This dynamic will be explicitly explored further along in this book, as I examine the language of the leaders in the United States and of its stated enemy, Osama bin Laden, both of whom used virtually the same religious idiom to describe their fight against the other.
A fatal addiction : war in the name of God by Thomas Block