Violence and the World's Religious Traditions

An Introduction

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Mark Juergensmeyer, Margo Kitts, Michael Jerryson
  • London, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , December
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jamin A. Hüber forthcoming.


Is religion inherently predisposed to violence? Or has religion been taken hostage by a politics of aggression? The years since the end of the Cold War have shown a noticeable shift in patterns of religious extremism, accentuating the uncomfortable, complex, and oft-misunderstood relationship between religion and violence. The essays in this succinct new volume examine that relationship by offering a well-rounded look at violence as it appears in the world's most prominent religious traditions, exploring Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, African, and Pacific Island texts and practices. 

The essays in Violence and the World's Religious Traditions explore the ways in which specific religions have justified acts of destruction, in history, in scripture, and in the contemporary world. But the collection also offers an investigation of religious symbols and practices, shedding new light on the very nature of religion and confronting the question of how deeply intertwined are violence and faith.

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

Mark Juergensmeyer is professor of sociology and global studies, Kundan Kaur Kapany Chair of Global and Sikh Studies, and fellow and founding director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author or editor of over twenty books, including Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence and God in the Tumult of the Global Square.

Margo Kitts is professor of humanities and coordinator of religious studies and east-west classical studies at Hawai'i Pacific University in Honolulu. She is the author of Sanctified Violence in Homeric Society (2005, 2011) and over thirty articles on Homer, the ancient Near East, ritual, and violence. She is coeditor of State, Power, and Violence (vol. 3 of Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual, 2010) and, with Mark Juergensmeyer, Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence (2011). She also co-edits the Journal of Religion and Violence.

Michael Jerryson is associate professor of religious studies at Youngstown State University. He is the author of Mongolian Buddhism: The Rise and Fall of the Sangha (2008), Buddhist Fury: Religion and Violence in Southern Thailand (2011), coeditor with Mark Juergensmeyer of Buddhist Warfare (2010), and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism (2016). He also co-edits the Journal of Religion and Violence.


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