Encyclopedia of Religion and War (Religion and Society)

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9780415942461: Encyclopedia of Religion and War (Religion and Society)
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This volume in the highly praised Religion and Society series examines and analyzes the role of religion in major wars, as well as the role of war in the development and spread of major religions. Entries cover historical as well as modern religious-based conflicts, such as modern Ireland and Chechnya.

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About the Author:

Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, Youngstown State University.

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Another in the series of Routledge Encyclopedias of Religion and Society, this work has a "narrow focus" because "it looks to one part of religion, not to the whole." Its intended audience is students at the undergraduate and high-school levels, professionals, and general readers. Content is meticulously organized so that the researcher may find the entries easily and may also find further information if desired. The more than 130 entries are arranged alphabetically and contain see also references and lists of further reading suggestions. Many of the entries have sidebars containing primary source material, either excerpted or whole. For example, the entry World Council of Churches includes the WCC's statement on the 2003 Iraq War.

According to the introduction, the volume does not examine religious teachings on love, compassion, or benevolent service to others. Instead, it provides "authoritative historical and cross-cultural information that will help readers understand war and other forms of political violence in the major religions of the world." The encyclopedia includes many of the world's religions but is not exhaustive. Among the Western religions covered are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Eastern religions covered include Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Lesser-known systems such as Manichaeism and zoroastrianism are defined, and their connection to war is examined. Other entries discuss regional religious conflict (Afghanistan, Hindu-Muslim violence in India, Northern Ireland); religious movements (Millennialism, Wahhabism); and religious wars (Crusades, Thirty Years' War). Related topics such as Jihad, Ku Klux Klan, Liberation theology, and Martyrdom are also explored.

Scholars and researchers interested in the connection between religion and war will find this encyclopedia useful. The complexity of the information recommends this resource for academic and large public libraries. RBB
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