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Blood That Cries Out From the EarthThe Psychology of Religious Terrorism$
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James Jones

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335972.001.0001

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WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT RELIGION?

WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT RELIGION?

Chapter:
(p.142) CHAPTER 6 WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT RELIGION?
Source:
Blood That Cries Out From the Earth
Author(s):

Jones James W

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335972.003.0007

“What Does This Tell Us about Religion?” The answer to the question posed in the title of chapter 6 is that religion and violence are inextricably bound together. No world religion lacks traditions, symbols, and stories that encourage and sanctify violence. Religions not only justify violence, they sanctify it, giving it a transcendental meaning. This accounts for unrestrained and increasing lethality of religious terrorism. Rene Girard’s theory is expounded. Religion is an ambiguous phenomenon, sponsoring terrorism and violence and also generating lofty moral sentiments and personal and social transformations. All religions contain elements that support terrorist acts and their underlying psychologies and other elements that critique and transform those same acts and psychologies. Some of those religious resources for critiquing and transforming the psychological roots of religious terrorism are described.

Keywords:   religious violence, religiously motivated terrorism, psychology of religion, Rene Girard

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