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61. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Jennifer Barry City of Demons: Violence, Ritual, and Christian Power in Late Antiquity. Dayna S. Kalleres
62. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Jarbel Rodriguez The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion, and Violence in the Medieval Crown of Aragon. Hussein Fancy
63. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Margo Kitts Religion and Struggle: Introduction to the Journal of Religion and Violence Volume 5, Issue 3
64. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Gail Streete Christian Martyrdom and Political Violence: A Comparative Theology with Judaism and Islam. Rubén Rosario Rodríguez
65. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Susan B. Ridgely Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstructionism. Julie J. Ingersoll
66. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Michael D. Bailey The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic. Edited by Owen Davies
67. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Asbjørn Dyrendal Satanism: A Social History. Massimo Introvigne
68. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Benjamin J. Lappenga “Formerly a Blasphemer and a Man of Violence”: First Timothy and the Othering of Jews
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In 1 Timothy 1:13, the author frames Paul’s former life in Judaism as that of a “blasphemer, persecutor, and man of violence,” but then proceeds to urge Timothy to “fight the good fight” (1:18) by following Paul’s example of turning opponents over to Satan “so that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1:20). Although this discourse is regularly perceived as promoting nonviolence, this paper traces the legacies of violence in which the passage has participated. First, it considers the letter’s first audiences, for whom the charge of blasphemy appears as one of a larger set of cultural stereotypes the author uses to bolster prejudice against the rivals. Second, it situates this discourse about blasphemy within the (false) portrayal of Paul vis-à-vis Judaism that was perpetuated during the struggles between the church and the synagogue in the early centuries of the common era. Third, the paper briefly traces the ways that Christian rhetoric against Jews as blasphemers participated in acts of violence against Jews from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. The paper concludes with a constructive critique of some readings of Pauline texts today, even those that overtly set out to understand these texts in a nonviolent manner.
69. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
James Petitfils Apparently Other: Appearance and Blasphemy in the Ancient Christian Martyr Texts
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In conversation with recent scholarship on Roman physiognomy, dress, and imperial prose fictions, this article traces the way in which ancient Christian martyr texts participate in broader Roman discourses of appearance and status in their construction of the Christian and the non-believing, apostate, or blaspheming other. After introducing the nexus between appearance, status, and identity in Roman society and culture more generally, this article considers the way in which these physiognomic and sartorial conventions function in two imperial prose fictions—Longus’s Daphnis and Chloe and Apuleius’s Metamorphoses—before turning to a similar consideration of two Christian martyr texts, namely, the Passion of Perpetua and Felicity and the Letter of the Churches of Vienne and Lyons. The article contends that the martyr texts, like the imperial fictions, construct the other, in part by appealing to long-standing Roman physiognomic and sartorial expectations. The non-believers, apostates, and blasphemers are visibly conspicuous for their non-elite deportment and slave-like physical features—features which, in a Roman context, mark their bodies as legitimate objects of violence. The Christians, in contrast, showcase a posture befitting the elite (those safeguarded from licit violence), not that of slaves or low-status damnati/noxii (those condemned to violent death in the Roman arena). In so doing, these martyr texts literarily reimagine Roman social strategies of violent humiliation as celebrations of honorable Christian identity, while they simultaneously deploy characteristically Roman discursive strategies to construct a humiliated, blaspheming other.
70. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Abby Kulisz Trauma Unending: Shīʿī Islam and the Experience of Trauma
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This paper explores the ways communities reexperience traumatic events. Previous studies have made important contributions by observing that communities, in contrast to individuals, often use a traumatic event to construct their identity; and trauma is not always painful but sometimes desired. To further investigate these dimensions of traumatization, I focus on the performance of mātam or self-flagellation, which is practiced by a small minority of the world’s Shīʿī Muslim population on the Day of ʿĀshūrāʾ. For many Shīʿa, particularly Twelvers, Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī’s death at the battle of Karbala in 680 C.E. is a collectively traumatic event. Not only does Karbala embody a collective tragedy for Shīʿī Muslims, it defines and shapes their interpretation of history. During the practice of mātam, the mourner enacts the trauma of Karbala on one’s body, thus reliving and preserving the collective trauma.
71. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Marte Nilsen, Shintaro Hara Religious Motivation In Political Struggles: The Case Of Thailand’s Patani Conflict
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The collective term “jihadist conflict” is used widely in academia, policy, and the media to describe a range of different political and religious conflicts. While all these conflicts are fought by Muslim groups who in one way or another regard their struggle as a jihad, the goals, motivation, and interpretation of jihad differ significantly from one conflict to another. The branding of movements as jihadist is driven by analysts, governments, and the media on the one hand, and by violent extremist groups with a transnational agenda on the other. While this branding is often embraced by those who pursue violent means, be they militant groups engaged in intrastate conflicts or disenfranchised individuals carrying out terrorist acts, the brand itself does not help us understand the fundamental conflict dynamics. Using the example of the Patani conflict in southern Thailand, this article illuminates how a political conflict may be misinterpreted if the religious motivation of militants is generalized rather than analyzed in its own terms.
72. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Philippe Buc War and Religion: Europe and the Mediterranean from the First through the Twenty-first Centuries. Arnaud Blin
73. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Don J. Wyatt Religious Culture and Violence in Traditional China. Barend ter Haar
74. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Katherine Allen Smith Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Crusades, Apocalyptic Prophecy, and the End of History. Jay Rubenstein
75. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
John Soboslai Confronting Religious Violence: A Counternarrative. Richard A. Burridge and Jonathan Sacks, editors
76. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Aaron Ricker The Fourth Reich: The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present. Gavriel D. Rosenfeld
77. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Zebulon Dingley The Transfiguration of Lukas Pkech: Dini ya Msambwa and the “Kolloa Affray”
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This article explores a violent episode in Kenya’s late-colonial history in which a confrontation between police and members of an anti-colonial religious movement called Dini ya Msambwa resulted an estimated fifty deaths. Drawing on archival documents and interviews with survivors, I reconstruct the event—the “Kolloa Affray,” as it became known—before showing how its violence has been preserved and transformed in the historical theology and ritual practice of the Dini ya Roho Mafuta Pole ya Afrika, which claims to be a continuation of the Msambwa movement. For survivors of the violence itself, and for others who suffered communal punishment in its aftermath, it is an historical wrong for which the British government owes compensation. For the Mafuta Pole faithful, however, the death of Dini ya Msambwa’s leader Lukas Pkech at Kolowa becomes a kind of second crucifixion, “cancelling” the violence of the past and ushering in a new era of forgiveness and reconciliation. The simultaneous preservation and negation of this violent past in Mafuta Pole historical consciousness is shown through an analysis of its discursive, ritual, and memorial practices.
78. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Margo Kitts Introduction to the Journal of Religion and Violence, Volume 8, Issue 1
79. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Robert Blunt Anthropology After Dark: Nocturnal Life and the Anthropology of the Good-Enough in Western Kenya
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Sherry Ortner has recently described Marxian and Foucauldian inspired anthropological concerns for power, domination, and inequality as “dark anthropology.” In juxtaposition, Joel Robbins has challenged anthropologists to explore ideas of the good life, conceptions of value, and ethics in different ethnographic contexts; what he calls an “anthropology of the good.” Between these poles, this paper attempts an anthropology of the “good enough” to examine beliefs and practices that may partially, and counterintuitively, ground local conceptions of trust in the gray areas of social life. The phenomenon of “nightrunning” amongst the Bukusu of western Kenya, I argue, undergirds a noctural economy of lending and borrowing—rather than theft and victimhood—of reproductive potential; nightrunners remove their clothing at night to “bang their buttocks” against their neighbors’ closed doors and throw rocks at their roofs to prevent them from “sleeping,” a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Due to the way Bukusu understand nightrunners to be sterile unless they “run,” while annoying, they are nonetheless considered deserving of sympathy. Key here is that Bukusu do not necessarily see such seemingly absorptive nocturnal activity as witchcraft. While the identities of nightrunners are protected by the darkness of night—a chronotope which usually indexes witchcraft and political corruption—Bukusu claim that nightrunners are categorically people that one knows “in the light of day.” The paper explores how practices like nightrunning might help us rethink social intimacy and trust.
80. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Justin J. Meggitt The Problem of Apocalyptic Terrorism
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The concept of “apocalyptic terrorism” has become common in the study of terrorism since the turn of the millennium and some have made considerable claims about its analytical and practical utility. However, it raises substantial problems. Following a brief survey of the way that the idea has been employed, this paper identifies difficulties inherent in its current use. In addition to those of a definitional kind, these include the treatment of “apocalyptic” as a synonym for “religious”; the assumption that apocalyptic is always primary and totalizing; homogenizing claims about the character of apocalyptic radicalism; mistaken assumptions about the causes and character of apocalyptic violence; problematic cross-cultural and non-religious applications of the term “apocalyptic”; the neglect of hermeneutics; and the dearth of contributions by specialists in the study of religion. The argument concludes that there are good grounds for abandoning the notion of “apocalyptic terrorism” entirely, but given that this is unlikely, it should be employed far more cautiously, and a narrower, more tightly defined understanding of the concept should be advocated by those engaged in the study of terrorism.