Fields Of Blood

Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385353103
Size: 15.55 MB
Format: PDF
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From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence. For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present. While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred. In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name. Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time. At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.

Fields Of Blood

Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 0307401987
Size: 50.65 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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From the renowned and bestselling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion's connection to violence. For the first time in American history, religious self-identification is on the decline. Some have cited a perception that began to grow after September 11: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance and divisiveness--something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? And does it apply equally to all faiths? In these troubled times, we risk basing decisions of real and dangerous consequence on mistaken understandings of the faiths subscribed around us, in our immediate community as well as globally. And so, with her deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong examines the impulse toward violence in each of the world's great religions. The comparative approach is new: while there have been plenty of books on jihad or the Crusades, this book lays the Christian and the Islamic way of war side by side, along with those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism and Judaism. Each of these faiths arose in agrarian societies with plenty of motivation for violence: landowners had to lord it over peasants and warfare was essential to increase one's landholdings, the only real source of wealth before the great age of trade and commerce. In each context, it fell to the priestly class to legitimize the actions of the state. And so the martial ethos became bound up with the sacred. At the same time, however, their ideologies developed that ran counter to the warrior code: around sages, prophets and mystics. Within each tradition there grew up communities that represented a protest against the injustice and violence endemic to agrarian society. This book explores the symbiosis of these 2 impulses and its development as these confessional faiths came of age. The aggression of secularism has often damaged religion and pushed it into a violent mode. But modernity has also been spectacularly violent, and so Armstrong goes on to show how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence--and what hope there might be for peace among believers in our time.

Fields Of Blood

Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446467716
Size: 62.72 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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It is the most persistent myth of our time: religion is the cause of all violence. But history suggests otherwise. Karen Armstrong, former Roman Catholic nun and one of our foremost scholars of religion, speaks out to disprove the link between religion and bloodshed. * Religion is as old as humanity: Fields of Blood goes back to the Stone Age hunter-gatherers and traces religion through the centuries, from medieval crusaders to modern-day jihadists. * The West today has a warped concept of religion: we regard faith as a personal and private matter, but for most of history faith has informed people’s entire outlook on life, and often been inseparable from politics. * Humans undoubtedly have a natural propensity for aggression: the founders of the largest religions – Jesus, Buddha, the rabbis of early Judaism, the prophet Muhammad – aimed to curb violence and build a more peaceful and just society, but with our growing greed for money and wealth came collective violence and warfare. * With the arrival of the modern all-powerful, secular state humanity’s destructive potential has begun to spiral out of control. Is humanity on the brink of destroying itself? Fields of Blood is a celebration of the ancient religious ideas and movements that have promoted peace and reconciliation across millennia of civilization.

Holy War

Author:
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385721404
Size: 72.82 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Covers the history of the Crusades, from Pope Urban II's call to holy war through its violent conflicts, while explaining their direct influence on the modern world's ongoing Middle East turbulence among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Fighting Words

Author: Hector Avalos
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615921958
Size: 69.12 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Is religion inherently violent? If not, what provokes violence in the name of religion? Do we mischaracterize religion by focusing too much on its violent side?In this intriguing, original study of religious violence, Prof. Hector Avalos offers a new theory for the role of religion in violent conflicts. Starting with the premise that most violence is the result of real or perceived scare resources, Avalos persuasively argues that religion creates new scarcities on the basis of unverifiable or illusory criteria. Through a careful analysis of the fundamental texts of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, Dr. Avalos explains how four scarce resources have figured repeatedly in creating religious violence: sacred space (e.g., the perception by three world religions that Jerusalem is sacred); the creation of holy scriptures (believed to be privileged revelations of God's will); group privilege (stemming from such beliefs as a chosen people or predestination, which also creates a group of outsiders); and salvation (by which concept some are accepted and others rejected). Thus, Avalos shows, religious violence is often the most unnecessary violence of all since the scarce resources over which religious conflicts ensue are not actually scare or need not be scarce.Comparing violence in religious and nonreligious contexts, Avalos makes the compelling argument that if we condemn violence caused by scarce resources as morally objectionable, then we must consider even more objectionable violence provoked by alleged scarcities that cannot be proven to exist. He also examines the Nazi Holocaust and the Stalinist Terror, which have been attributed to the pernicious effects of atheism or secular humanism. By contrast, Avalos pinpoints underlying religious factors as the cause of these horrific instances of genocidal violence.This serious philosophical examination of the roots of religious violence adds much to our understanding of a perennial source of widespread human suffering.Hector Avalos (Ames, IA) is associate professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University, the author of five books on biblical studies and religion, the former editor of the Journal for the Critical Study of Religion, and executive director of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion.

The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 0143122010
Size: 28.36 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

Why Tolerate Religion

Author: Brian Leiter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140085234X
Size: 25.47 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 1921
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This provocative book addresses one of the most enduring puzzles in political philosophy and constitutional theory—why is religion singled out for preferential treatment in both law and public discourse? Why are religious obligations that conflict with the law accorded special toleration while other obligations of conscience are not? In Why Tolerate Religion?, Brian Leiter shows why our reasons for tolerating religion are not specific to religion but apply to all claims of conscience, and why a government committed to liberty of conscience is not required by the principle of toleration to grant exemptions to laws that promote the general welfare.

Belief And Bloodshed

Author: James K. Wellman, Jr.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 0742571343
Size: 13.28 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Intended for students as well as scholars of religion and violence, Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence across Time and Tradition discusses how the relationship between religion and violence is not unique to a post-9/11 world_it has existed throughout all of recorded history and culture.

War In The Blood

Author: Chris Beyrer
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781856495325
Size: 28.50 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This engaging and vivid book investigates the course of the HIV epidemic in seven countries of South East Asia: Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam and China’s Yunnan Province. Emphasising the impact of the cultural and political landscapes of these countries on the progress of the disease, the book is the product of both working and travelling in the area. Not merely a commentary on obfuscating government statistics, the author draws upon his encounters with people dealing with the effects of the epidemic and opponents of the regimes of the countries he describes. The epidemic is seen as being vitally linked to the general condition of human rights in the societies. In the first part of the book the author travels to each country in turn chronicling the different approaches adopted to the epidemic. The second part covers issues involving specific groups at risk - among other topics, women and contraception, prostitution and the traffic in women, HIV and the US military, the Heroin trade, gay sex workers, prisoners, and the work of local activists. The third part of the book looks at policy and the general effect of culture on public health care, stressing the need for local empowerment of populations, and in particular women, to effect social changes that would go hand in hand with improvements in the handling of the HIV epidemic. Both passionate and well-informed, this book is a labour of love that discusses the HIV epidemic while giving an intimate, and ultimately celebratory account of South East Asia and asserting the real possiblity for affirmative action.

Sanctity And Self Inflicted Violence In Chinese Religions 1500 1700

Author: Jimmy Yu
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199844887
Size: 57.30 MB
Format: PDF
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Jimmy Yu reveals that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, self-inflicted violence was an essential and sanctioned part of Chinese culture. He examines a wide range of practices, including blood writing, filial body-slicing, chastity mutilations and suicides, ritual exposure, and self-immolation, arguing that each practice was public, scripted, and a signal of certain cultural expectations.