In Confronting Religious Violence, twelve international experts from a variety of theological, philosophical, and scientific fields address the issue of religious violence in today's world.
The first part of the book focuses on the historical rise of religious conflict, beginning with the question of whether the New Testament leads to supersessionism, and looks at the growth of anti-Semitism in the later Roman Empire.
The second part comprises field-report studies of xenophobia, radicalism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia surrounding the conflicts in the Middle East.
The third part reflects on moral, philosophical, legal, and evolutionary influences on religious freedom and how they harm or help the advancement of peace.
The final part of the volume turns to theological reflections, discussing monotheism, nationalism, the perpetuation of violence, the role of mercy laws and freedom in combating hate, and practical approaches to dealing with pluralism in theological education.
Edited by Richard Burridge and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Confronting Religious Violence contains insights from international experts that form essential reading for politicians, diplomats, business leaders, academics, theologians, church and faith leaders, commentators, and military strategists - anyone concerned with a harmonious future for human life together on this planet.
Foreword - Heather Templeton Dill
Introduction - Richard A. Burridge and Jonathan Sacks
Setting the Scene
1. The Stories We Tell - Jonathan Sacks
Part I: Biblical and Classical Background
2. (Re-) Reading the New Testament in the Light of Sibling Rivalry: Some Hermeneutical Implications for Today - Richard A. Burridge
3. Open Religion and Its Enemies - Guy G. Stroumsa
Part II: Reflections from the Front Line
4. Radical Encounters: Climate Change and Religious Conflict in Africa - Eliza Griswold
5. Empathy as Policy in the Age of Hatred - Amineh A. Hoti
6. Devoted Actors in an Age of Rage: Social Science on the ISIS Front Line and Elsewhere - Scott Atran
Part III: Moral, Philosophical, and Scientific Reflections
7. Religious Freedom and Human Flourishing - Robert P. George
8. Compassionate Reason: The Most Important Cultural and Religious Capacity for a Peaceful Future - Marc Gopin
9. The Superorganism Concept and Human Groups: Implications for Confronting Religious Violence - David Sloan Wilson
Part IV: Theological Reflections
10. Monotheism, Nationalism, Violence: Twenty-Five Theses - Miroslav Volf
11. Countering Religious, Moral, and Political Hate-Preaching: A Culture of Mercy and Freedom against the Barbarism of Hate - Michael Welker
12. Between Urgency and Understanding: Practical Imperatives in Theological Education - William Storrar
Concluding Reflections - Jonathan Sacks
"This volume confronts head-on the major question for religious violence today: Is religion truly relevant? Rather than argue that violence is ‘Not in God’s Name,’ the contributors address religious intolerance through the ages as well as religion’s contemporary link with political and environmental crises and the baffling zeal of some of today’s religious actors. Most chapters of this volume will be of interest to political scientists, sociologists, and religious historians alike." -- Margo Kitts, Professor of Humanities, Hawai'i Pacific University
"Once again, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and The Reverend Canon Richard Burridge have brought together some of the leading voices in interfaith dialogue today and have presented us with a spiritually uplifting and ultimately hopeful picture of our world. If the news around you is getting you down, picking up this book will inspire and re-energize you. May the voices of wisdom in this volume be heeded by all in this fraught time." -- Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Washington, DC
"Against the presumptions of secular Western analysts and diplomats, humanity remains predominantly religious, and excluding religious discourse from the negotiating table appears more often to inhibit rather than encourage conflict resolution among religious stakeholders to the conflict. The inspired yet sober editors and authors of Confronting Religious Violence illustrate how stakeholders may be encouraged to speak to one another of the religious sources of their values and, in the process, strengthen the sources that encourage speech and dialogue and, one hopes, patience." -- Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia
"In this important book, some of the most distinguished scholars and activists working today to foster peace and defuse conflict engage Rabbi Sacks’ urgent and timely challenge: how do we rethink and retell the stories that inform our identities in an age of religious conflict? The resulting essays produce a host of compelling visions for how the inheritors of the ‘Abrahamic’ traditions can develop a new understanding of themselves, their histories, and their relationships to one another. This book is a fitting tribute to the work of Rabbi Sacks in its authors’ efforts to rise to his challenge and articulate a vision of societies free from histories of animosity and suspicion." -- Brian K. Pennington, Director of the Elon University Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society and author of Teaching Religion and Violence.