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81. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Faisal Devji Speaking of Violence
82. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Kjersti Hellesøy Civil War and the Radicalization of Islam in Chechnya
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In this article I will focus on the recent developments in Islam in Chechnya in terms of the question, “How do we understand the radicalization of Islam in Chechnya in terms of the conflicts in the 1990s?” As a way of sorting this out, I will be making reference to Monica Duffy Toft’s discussion of the conditionsthat increase the probability of a civil war becoming a religious war, and her analysis of the role religion can play in such conflicts. There are elements of her analysis that I do not use, and in the latter part of this article I will argue that one component of her approach – namely her essentialization of religion and itsconnection with violence – is misconceived.
83. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Maria Leppäkari Apocalyptic Scapegoats
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This article highlights the impact of endtime representations in relation to concepts of an apocalyptic enemy. Apocalyptic violence, as related here, involves three parties: Jewish Temple activists, Christian Zionists and their common apocalyptic enemy, Islam. Violence is always present in endtime representations, but it does not necessarily involve physical confrontation. Violence has a double nature. René Girard calls it a two-edged sword, which can be used to oppress as well as to liberate. The role prescribed by Christian Zionists (CZ) to the Jewish Third Temple activists and vice versa is here addressed in light of Girard’s theory of the scapegoat as presented in Violence and the Sacred [1977] (2005) and in Leppäkari’s previous studies, such as, Apocalyptic Representations of Jerusalem (2006) and Hungry for Heaven (2008). Here the double nature of violence accounts for the point that violence can stain or cleanse, contaminate or purify, drive humans to fury and murder or appease their anger and restore them to life. When set in an apocalyptic context the double nature of violence enables dissemination of images of threat and xenophobia, yielding physical confrontation.
84. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis Sects and Violence: The “Standard Model” of New Religions Violence
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In contrast with other subfields within religion-and-violence studies, the study of violence and new religious movements (NRMs) has tended to focus on a small set of incidents involving the mass deaths of members of controversial NRMs. Beginning with the suicide-murders of hundreds of members of the People’sTemple in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, various explanations of such incidents have been offered – some focusing on the psychological make-up of the leaders; others on the near approach of the new millennium. Scholars of violent new religions eventually settled on what might be called the ‘Standard Model’ of NRM violence, a model that takes into account internal factors, external factors and the dynamic polarization between these two sets of influences. Unfortunately, this model is not predictive. However, if the various factors within the standard model are reshuffled, several new factors added and the focus shifted to violent incidents involving group suicide, a modified model emergences that appears to be able to predict mass suicide in NRMs.
85. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
David Svensson Fundamentalism in the Modern World. Volume 2. Fundamentalism and Communication: Culture, Media and the Public Sphere., Ulrika Mårtensson, Jennifer Bailey, Priscilla Ringrose & Asbjørn Dyrendal, eds.
86. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Göran Larsson Islamismen., Bjørn Olav Utvik
87. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Gustavo Morello, S.J. Christianity and Revolution: Catholicism and Guerrilla Warfare in Argentina’s Seventies
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Through an analysis of the journal Cristianismo y Revolución (Buenos Aires, 1966-1971), this paper highlights the conditions that made the link between certain Catholic groups and revolutionary movements possible during the Sixties in Argentina. The changes in Christian conscience characterized by the attempts the Catholic Church made during the twentieth century to face the Modern era, and by developing a concern for structural social problems, were the primary influences that led some Catholics to the Left. Moral concern with the poor, the success of the Cuban Revolution and the political situation in Argentina and throughout Latin America laid the foundation for revolutionary activity.
88. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis Introduction
89. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
R. Scott Appleby The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History., Charles B. Strozier, David M. Terman & James W. Jones (with Katharine A. Boyd), eds.
90. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Jesper Aagaard Petersen Holy Terror: Understanding Religion and Violence in Popular Culture., Eric Christianson and Christopher Partridge, eds.
91. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Michael J. Walsh States of Exception: The Violence of Territoriality, Sacrality, and Religion in China-Tibet Relations
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The relationship between sovereign violence, constitutional language, territorial claims, and certain human rights such as the freedom of religion plays out in complex ways in China-Tibet relations with broad ramifications for other nation-states. This essay begins to explore some of these ramifications. In terms ofChinese sovereignty, Tibet is part of what China’s constitution refers to as “sacred territory” and as such is exclusively beholden to the Chinese state. To claim constitutionally that one’s sovereign territory is sacred, as in a space to be set apart precisely so as to be able to control it through a politicized inclusivity, is tantamount to the process of territorialization becoming a type of sacralization, a rendering of social and geographical space as inviolate. I argue that territorialization by the nation-state, in this case China, is in fact a form of sacralization bolstered by mythos and sovereign violence. Implicated in claims of sacrality is the language of human rights, and for the purposes of this paper, China’s constitutional claim of freedom of religion. To employ the term religion, however, is to unwittingly bind oneself to a European Protestant narrative and all the complications thereof. Both claims have deep implications for juridical constructions, the containment of populace, freedom of religion, and human rights in general.
92. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Walter Skya Politics and Religion in Modern Japan: Red Sun, White Lotus., Roy Starrs, ed.
93. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Jonathan Peste Master Narratives of Islamist Extremism., Jeffrey R. Halverson, H.L. Goodall, Jr. & Steven R. Corman, eds.
94. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis Introduction
95. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Fathie Ali Abdat The Sheiks of Sedition: Father Prophet Mohammed Bey, Mother Jesus Rosie Bey, and Kansas City’s Moors (1933–1945)
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This paper examines the development of the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA), a Black American Islamic religious organisation from 1933 to 1945, a period largely unexplored by academics. Through the lens of Father Prophet Mohammed Bey and Mother Jesus Rosie Bey—two controversial vernacular Moorish-American leaders in Kansas City—I hope to illustrate how Kansas City Moors coped with the organisation’s fissiparous tendencies and exegetically revised and reframed Moorish-American Prophet Noble Drew Ali’s 1920s Black Asiatic Orientalist doctrines vis-à-vis the 1930s and 1940s subversive socio-political culture. In the process, both Father Prophet Mohammed Bey and Mother Jesus Rosie Bey shaped and advocated an early form of Black theology and Black power, though they differed in their modus operandi. While Father Prophet Mohammed Bey militantly confronted Kansas City’s local racist institutions, Mother Jesus Rosie Bey internationalized and politicized the Kansas City Moors to collaborate/contend with the looming spectre of Japanese agent provocateurs, America’s Selective Service Act, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) interrogations. While the size and scope of the Kansas City Moors remained limited, their unique orientation to militant Moorish Islam is vital for historians’ understanding of the re-flowering of Moorish-American Islamic activism in the 1930s as well as the eventual decay of the religious organisation by 1945, due in part to the theological softening of other Moorish communities.
96. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Nathan Colborne The Reasonable Citizen/The Unreasonable Scapegoat
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I argue here that the modern liberal state has not escaped the organized violence of the scapegoat mechanism as described by Rene Girard and that liberal theory, at least in its Rawlsian form, obscures this mechanism rather than repudiating it. The clearest example of this is Rawls’s attempt to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable comprehensive doctrines in order to exclude the latter from contributing to an overlapping consensus that, according to Rawls, is the basis of liberal political procedures. Girard’s account of the scapegoat mechanism can help us understand the underlying logic of this distinction and the political purpose it serves by giving a fuller explanation of what motivates liberal theory’s quest to constrain violence, by accounting better for the enduring attraction of Rawlsian political theory, and by more realistically outlining the dangers inherent in exposing the scapegoat mechanism.
97. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Alexander Pierre Bronisch On the Use and Definition of the Term “Holy War”: The Visigothic and Asturian-Leonese Examples
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After decades of discussion, historians have not yet managed to come to a generally accepted definition of the term “holy war.” There are several points of view, which can be classified into five groups: 1. the understanding of “holy war” as a war in which religion has the function of a specific cause; 2. critics of this position who fail to provide their own concise definition of “holy war”; 3. those who see holy wars from the perspective of just war theory; 4. others who define “holy war” as a war fought in the service of the Papacy; and, finally, 5. all those who seem to assume that a consensus about the meaning of this term already exists. In this article, the author’s definition, elaborated in a monograph on the significance of war in medieval Spain, is briefly presented. The Iberian Visigothic and Asturian-Leonese examples demonstrate that the author’s definition is suitable for explaining contemporaries’ ideas about the significance of war within the then-existing cosmovision. The author shows that the Iberian circumstances seem to be quite similar to the almost-simultaneous Byzantine understanding of war. Accordingly, some scholars on Byzantine warfare come to more or less to the same conclusion as proposed in this article and have had to face the same objections of their fellow scholars.
98. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Mattias Gardell What’s Love Got to Do with It?: Ultranationalism, Islamophobia, and Hate Crime in Sweden
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Sweden is known for its tolerance and liberal policies. Yet, sixty percent of Sweden’s mosques and Islamic centres had been subjected to threats, vandalism, or arson. Muslim women, in particular, seem to be targets of hate crimes, but rarely report incidents to the police. In 2014, the Sweden Democrats, a proto-fascist nationalist party, gained close to 13 percent of the national vote after a fervent anti-Muslim campaign supported by a network of social media outlets in which incitements to violence against Muslim-Swedes proliferated. Based on fieldwork, surveys, and open-ended interviews with 100 Muslim citizens and 40 anti-Muslim activist, as well as a review of anti-Muslim online calls to arms, this essay addresses the surge of anti-Muslim hate crime in Sweden, exploring the role of violence in the proto-fascist attempt to ‘recreate’ a homogenous nation that never existed. While the literature on ultranationalist-inspired hate crime typically sees the perpetrators as angry white men, the nationalists interviewed in this study claimed to act out of love, not hate. By examining how love and hate may reinforce each other, this essay argues that anti-Muslim hate crime is a form of political violence that patrols the borders and identities it produces, and shows the extent to which victims may adopt the perpetrator’s gaze and experience their own bodies as deviant, and out of place in their own home country. 
99. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Lorenzo Magnani, Tommaso Bertolotti Christ, Batman, and Girard: A Philosophical Perspective on Self-Sacrifice
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The aim of this article is to offer a non-trivial reflection about the violence embedded in self-sacrifice. Firstly, we will suggest a definition of violence which does not make self-sacrifice necessarily violent, but rather aims at being consistent with the common sense conception of sacrifice as actually violent (if self-sacrifice was not violent, then it would not be perceived as something rare and everyone would be committing non-trivial self-sacrifices wherever we laid our gaze). Framing this initial claim within the vectorial conception of sacrifice offered by Derrida (and exemplified by de Vries), we will individuate in the violence against intellect (sacrificium intellectus) the core of the violent dimension of self-sacrifice, insofar as the author of the sacrifice does not limitedly commit part of her understanding in the sacrificial practice, but all of it, since she is both the agent and the patient of sacrifice. At this point, we will have gathered enough material to spell out two fundamental violent aspects of self-sacrifice. The first concerns the exemplar of self-sacrifice in Western tradition, that is, Jesus Christ’s. The self-sacrifice committed by God’s own lógos is the epitome of sacrifice as sacrificium intellectus, therefore the highest gradient of intellectual violence. At the same time, this is crucial as it further corroborates the interpretation of Jesus’ sacrifice as the last sacrifice: no mimetic attempt to reenact His sacrifice can hold the comparison under the fundamental aspect of intellectual violence. The second “mirror” to reflect about the violence of self-sacrifice will concern the sacrifice enacted by superheroes, namely Batman, and the extent to which the sacrifice of intellect is at play when kenotic self-sacrifice and scapegoating processes become hard to tell one from the other (i.e. when the hero’s commitment seems to reverberate internally with external blame).
100. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
J. Marla Toyne The Body Sacrificed: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Ritual Violence in Ancient Túcume, Peru
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Human lives and bodies become transformed into sacred offerings during sacrificial rites. We can recognize these transformative actions in the archaeological record based on the location of human burials – often in association with sacred spaces – and the evidence of peri-mortem manipulation of the bodies. This paper will describe and discuss the different ways in which human bodies have been manipulated in ancient Andean rites of human sacrifice as specific death rituals, outside of traditional or normative mortuary practices. I introduce the concept of the “body sacrificed” as a means through which to identify particular ritual significance in the treatment of these special sacred offerings. I use an example of human sacrifice from Túcume on the Northern Coast of Peru, as well as comparison with other documented sacrifice traditions across the Andean region. Using a bioarchaeological approach can help elucidate sacrifice rituals and practices with the focus on identifying and interpreting the physical manipulation of the body via evidence left on the skeleton. Furthermore, with comparative ethnographic data, we can identify the symbolic meaning in human burial arrangements and the manipulation of the bodies. I argue that the treatment of the body reflects specific symbolic gestures as part of the ritual process and that the death of the individual is only the part of a more complex process. Thus, we can elucidate possible meanings behind these transformative sacrificial rites in pre-Hispanic times.