Holy War The Blood of Abraham: Echoes from Nag Hammadi saying to all three Religions I am not the God you think you know is a book about the 1945 discovery at Nag Hammadi and how in time it will alter the future of Christianity-as well as Judaism and Islam. Through the lens of this discovery it addresses two important questions: · What is the role of the religions of Abraham in present world conflict? · Is only Islam to blame, or also Judaism and Christianity? It exposes the underlying flaws that are built into each of these three religious belief systems and, although it leaves it to the reader to decide, argues that culpability for Islamic terrorism lies not only with the failures of Islam, but also with the failures of Judaism and Christianity. It is a book that calls on its readers; Christians, Jews and Muslims, and all others, to look within themselves in search for answers to the most important questions facing our world today.
While there exists no evidence to date that the indigenous inhabitants of Arabia knew of holy war prior to Islam, holy war ideas and behaviors appear already among Muslims during the first generation. This book focuses on why and how such a seemingly radical development took place. Basing his hypothesis on evidence from the Qur'an and early Islamic literary sources, Firestone locates the origin of Islamic holy war and traces its evolution as a response to the changes affecting the new community of Muslims in its transition from ancient Arabian culture to the religious civilization of Islam.
The Intifada of 2000-2001 has demonstrated the end of an era of diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The style of peacemaking of the Olso Accords has been called into question by the facts on the ground. Elite forms of peacemaking that do not embrace the basic needs of average people on all sides are bound to fail. The complete neglect of deeper cultural and religious systems in the peace process is now apparent, as is the role that this neglect has played in the failure of the process. Building on his earlier book, Between Eden and Armageddon, Gopin provides a detailed blueprint of how the religious traditions in question can become a principal asset in the search for peace and justice. He demonstrates how religious people can be the critical missing link in peacemaking, and how the incorporation of their values and symbols can unleash a new dynamic that directly addresses basic issues of ethics, justice, and peace. Gopin's analysis of the theoretical, theological, and political planes shows us what has been achieved thus far, as well as what must be done next in order to ensure effective final settlement negotiations and secure, sovereign, democratic countries for both peoples.
The 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks on the U.S. in 2001 shocked the world, not only because of their viciousness but also because of the disillusionment that "holy wars" are a phenomenon of the past. "Holy wars," rather, are a reality in today's world too, threatening global peace like never before. In this volume Christoffer Grundmann pleads for the cultivation of religious literacy and interreglious dialogue. First, he attempts to regain an adequate understanding of religion by showing the incompatibility of abstract concepts of religion with religions actually lived. So Grundmann suggests perceiving religion as the lived relationship toward an Ultimate. Given that interreligious dialogue is communication about diverse ways of relating to the Ultimate, the religiously embedded, primarily Jewish philosophy of encounter and dialogical thinking--with its personalistic nature--comes into focus here as uniquely suited for such communication. Even though interreligious encounter implies risk, Christians cannot but engage in it fearlessly, says Grundmann, because they trust that the risen Christ will reveal himself anew as the one he really is, wherever and whenever Christians take part in dialogue with people of other faiths.
For Jews, Christians and Muslims, as for all human beings, military conflicts and war remain part of the reality of the world. The authoritative writings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, namely the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Koran, as well as the theological and philosophical traditions based on them, bear witness to this fact. Showing the influence of different historical political situations, various views – sometimes quite similar, sometimes more divergent -- have developed in the three religions to justify the waging of war under certain circumstances. Such views have also been integrated in different ways into legal systems while, in certain cases, theologies have provide legitimation for military expansion and atrocities. The aim of the volume The Concept of Just War in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is to explore the respective understanding of “just war” in each one of these three religions and to make their commonalities and differences discursively visible. In addition, it highlights and explains the significance of the topic to the present time. Can the concepts developed in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions in order to justify war, serve as a foundation for contemporary peace ethics? Or do religious arguments always add fuel to the fire in armed conflict? The contributions in this volume will help provide answers to these and other socially and politically relevant questions.
Temple Mount is believed by some Jews to be the locus of their ancient Temple. Known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), this site is home to two mosques, one of which is the third most holy shrine in all of Islam. Jewish fundamentalists want to destroy the mosques on Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple. Christian apocalypticists are financing and supporting their efforts. If the mosques are destroyed, Islamic fundamentalists have vowed to destroy Israel, resulting in the possibility of nuclear war. This book addresses the idea that the recent rise of militant Christian, Jewish, and Muslim fundamentalisms and their interaction are endangering peace in the Middle East. It fully examines the thesis that apocalypticist fundamentalists—Christians in America, Jews in Israel and America—are working together to hasten the coming of the Messiah by instigating a Holy War in the Middle East. Several chapters focus on three U.S. political figures—Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan, and Pat Robertson—who helped bring Christian fundamentalism into the mainstream of American politics. One chapter tells of Jewish preparations for rebuilding the Temple on Temple Mount. Other chapters document the rise of religious fundamentalism in Israel since 1967, Haram al-Sharif–Temple Mount crises involving Christian-Jewish cooperation, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Separate chapters are devoted to Israel’s nuclear program and political psychology, and the fact that nuclear weapons are leaving Russia and finding their way to Islamic nations and Islamic terrorists.
Religious political violence is by no means a new phenomenon, yet there are critical differences between the various historical instances of such violence and its more current permutations. Since the mid-1970s, religious fundamentalist movements have been seeking to influence world order by participating in local political systems. For example, Islamic fundamentalism is at the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Christian fundamental right wing has seen a resurgence in Europe, and Jewish fundamentalism is behind the actions of Meir Kahane’s Kach movement and the settler movement. The shift in recent years from secular to religious political violence necessitates a reevaluation of contemporary political violence and of the concept of religious violence. This text analyzes the evolution of religious political violence, in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Since religious political violent events are usually associated with the term “terrorism,” the book first analyzes the origins of this controversial term and its religious manifestations. It then outlines and highlights the differences between secular and religious political violence, on ideological, strategic, and tactical levels before comparing the concept of Holy War in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Lastly, it shows how modern radical monotheistic religious groups interpret and manipulate their religious sources and ideas to advocate their political agendas, including the practice of violence. A unique comparative study of religious political violence across Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, this text features many international case studies from the Crusades to the Arab Spring.
Kenneth Vaux elucidates the great just war traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, evaluating the key events of the Gulf War in light of the religious rhetoric used by both sides. Religious and ethical appeals played a major role in winning support not just of the U.S. and Iraqi peoples but of public opinion worldwide. Vaux demonstrates the wide gap between the religious rhetoric and the political-military action it was called on to support.
The conflicts between the three great monotheistic religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – are shaping our world more than ever before. In this important new book Peter Sloterdijk returns to the origins of monotheism in order to shed new light on the conflict of the faiths today. Following the polytheism of the ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Hittites and Babylonians, Jewish monotheism was born as a theology of protest, as a religion of triumph within defeat. While the religion of the Jews remained limited to their own people, Christianity unfolded its message with proclamations of universal truth. Islam raised this universalism to a new level through a military and political mode of expansion. Sloterdijk examines the forms of conflict that arise between the three monotheisms by analyzing the basic possibilities stemming from anti-Paganism, anti-Judaism, anti-Islamism and anti-Christianism. These possibilities were augmented by internal rifts: a defining influence within Judaism was a separatism with defensive aspects, in Christianity the project of expansion through mission, and in Islam the Holy War.