Does Religion Cause Violence?

Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Violence and Religion in the Modern World

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Joel Hodge, Scott Cowdell, Chris Fleming, Carly Osborn
  • New York, NY: 
    Bloomsbury Academic
    , December
     272 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jamin A Hübner forthcoming.


One of the most pressing issues of our time is the outbreak of extremist violence and terrorism, done in the name of religion. This volume critically analyses the link made between religion and violence in contemporary theory and proposes that 'religion' does not have a special relation to violence in opposition to culture, ideology or nationalism. Rather, religion and violence must be understood with relation to fundamental anthropological and philosophical categories such as culture, desire, disaster and rivalry. Does Religion Cause Violence? explores contemporary instances of religious violence, such as Islamist terrorism and radicalization in its various political, economic, religious, military and technological dimensions, as well as the legitimacy and efficacy of modern cultural mechanisms to contain violence, such as nuclear deterrence. Including perspectives from experts in theology, philosophy, terrorism studies, and Islamic studies, this volume brings together the insights of Ren#65533; Girard, the premier theorist of violence in the 20th century, with the latest scholarship on religion and violence, particularly exploring the nature of extremist violence.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Joel Hodge is Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Australian Catholic University, Australia. He is the author of Resisting Violence and Victimisation: Christian Faith and Solidarity in East Timor (2012) and Treasurer of the Australian Girard Seminar.

Scott Cowdell is Research Professor in Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University, Australia, and Canon Theologian of the Canberra-Goulburn Anglican Diocese. He is the author of René Girard and Secular Modernity (2013) and President of the Australian Girard Seminar.

Chris Fleming is Associate Professor in Philosophy and Anthropology at Western Sydney University, Australia. He is the author of René Girard: Violence and Mimesis (2004) and Vice-President of the Australian Girard Seminar.

Carly Osborn is a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and Secretary of the Australian Girard Seminar.


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