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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents


1. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis, Introduction
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2. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Fathie Ali Abdat, The Sheiks of Sedition: Father Prophet Mohammed Bey, Mother Jesus Rosie Bey, and Kansas City’s Moors (1933–1945)
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This paper examines the development of the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA), a Black American Islamic religious organisation from 1933 to 1945, a period largely unexplored by academics. Through the lens of Father Prophet Mohammed Bey and Mother Jesus Rosie Bey—two controversial vernacular Moorish-American leaders in Kansas City—I hope to illustrate how Kansas City Moors coped with the organisation’s fissiparous tendencies and exegetically revised and reframed Moorish-American Prophet Noble Drew Ali’s 1920s Black Asiatic Orientalist doctrines vis-à-vis the 1930s and 1940s subversive socio-political culture. In the process, both Father Prophet Mohammed Bey and Mother Jesus Rosie Bey shaped and advocated an early form of Black theology and Black power, though they differed in their modus operandi. While Father Prophet Mohammed Bey militantly confronted Kansas City’s local racist institutions, Mother Jesus Rosie Bey internationalized and politicized the Kansas City Moors to collaborate/contend with the looming spectre of Japanese agent provocateurs, America’s Selective Service Act, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) interrogations. While the size and scope of the Kansas City Moors remained limited, their unique orientation to militant Moorish Islam is vital for historians’ understanding of the re-flowering of Moorish-American Islamic activism in the 1930s as well as the eventual decay of the religious organisation by 1945, due in part to the theological softening of other Moorish communities.
3. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Alexander Pierre Bronisch, On the Use and Definition of the Term “Holy War”: The Visigothic and Asturian-Leonese Examples
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After decades of discussion, historians have not yet managed to come to a generally accepted definition of the term “holy war.” There are several points of view, which can be classified into five groups: 1. the understanding of “holy war” as a war in which religion has the function of a specific cause; 2. critics of this position who fail to provide their own concise definition of “holy war”; 3. those who see holy wars from the perspective of just war theory; 4. others who define “holy war” as a war fought in the service of the Papacy; and, finally, 5. all those who seem to assume that a consensus about the meaning of this term already exists. In this article, the author’s definition, elaborated in a monograph on the significance of war in medieval Spain, is briefly presented. The Iberian Visigothic and Asturian-Leonese examples demonstrate that the author’s definition is suitable for explaining contemporaries’ ideas about the significance of war within the then-existing cosmovision. The author shows that the Iberian circumstances seem to be quite similar to the almost-simultaneous Byzantine understanding of war. Accordingly, some scholars on Byzantine warfare come to more or less to the same conclusion as proposed in this article and have had to face the same objections of their fellow scholars.
4. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Nathan Colborne, The Reasonable Citizen/The Unreasonable Scapegoat
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I argue here that the modern liberal state has not escaped the organized violence of the scapegoat mechanism as described by Rene Girard and that liberal theory, at least in its Rawlsian form, obscures this mechanism rather than repudiating it. The clearest example of this is Rawls’s attempt to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable comprehensive doctrines in order to exclude the latter from contributing to an overlapping consensus that, according to Rawls, is the basis of liberal political procedures. Girard’s account of the scapegoat mechanism can help us understand the underlying logic of this distinction and the political purpose it serves by giving a fuller explanation of what motivates liberal theory’s quest to constrain violence, by accounting better for the enduring attraction of Rawlsian political theory, and by more realistically outlining the dangers inherent in exposing the scapegoat mechanism.
5. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Mattias Gardell, What’s Love Got to Do with It?: Ultranationalism, Islamophobia, and Hate Crime in Sweden
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Sweden is known for its tolerance and liberal policies. Yet, sixty percent of Sweden’s mosques and Islamic centres had been subjected to threats, vandalism, or arson. Muslim women, in particular, seem to be targets of hate crimes, but rarely report incidents to the police. In 2014, the Sweden Democrats, a proto-fascist nationalist party, gained close to 13 percent of the national vote after a fervent anti-Muslim campaign supported by a network of social media outlets in which incitements to violence against Muslim-Swedes proliferated. Based on fieldwork, surveys, and open-ended interviews with 100 Muslim citizens and 40 anti-Muslim activist, as well as a review of anti-Muslim online calls to arms, this essay addresses the surge of anti-Muslim hate crime in Sweden, exploring the role of violence in the proto-fascist attempt to ‘recreate’ a homogenous nation that never existed. While the literature on ultranationalist-inspired hate crime typically sees the perpetrators as angry white men, the nationalists interviewed in this study claimed to act out of love, not hate. By examining how love and hate may reinforce each other, this essay argues that anti-Muslim hate crime is a form of political violence that patrols the borders and identities it produces, and shows the extent to which victims may adopt the perpetrator’s gaze and experience their own bodies as deviant, and out of place in their own home country. 
6. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Lorenzo Magnani, Tommaso Bertolotti, Christ, Batman, and Girard: A Philosophical Perspective on Self-Sacrifice
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The aim of this article is to offer a non-trivial reflection about the violence embedded in self-sacrifice. Firstly, we will suggest a definition of violence which does not make self-sacrifice necessarily violent, but rather aims at being consistent with the common sense conception of sacrifice as actually violent (if self-sacrifice was not violent, then it would not be perceived as something rare and everyone would be committing non-trivial self-sacrifices wherever we laid our gaze). Framing this initial claim within the vectorial conception of sacrifice offered by Derrida (and exemplified by de Vries), we will individuate in the violence against intellect (sacrificium intellectus) the core of the violent dimension of self-sacrifice, insofar as the author of the sacrifice does not limitedly commit part of her understanding in the sacrificial practice, but all of it, since she is both the agent and the patient of sacrifice. At this point, we will have gathered enough material to spell out two fundamental violent aspects of self-sacrifice. The first concerns the exemplar of self-sacrifice in Western tradition, that is, Jesus Christ’s. The self-sacrifice committed by God’s own lógos is the epitome of sacrifice as sacrificium intellectus, therefore the highest gradient of intellectual violence. At the same time, this is crucial as it further corroborates the interpretation of Jesus’ sacrifice as the last sacrifice: no mimetic attempt to reenact His sacrifice can hold the comparison under the fundamental aspect of intellectual violence. The second “mirror” to reflect about the violence of self-sacrifice will concern the sacrifice enacted by superheroes, namely Batman, and the extent to which the sacrifice of intellect is at play when kenotic self-sacrifice and scapegoating processes become hard to tell one from the other (i.e. when the hero’s commitment seems to reverberate internally with external blame).
7. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
J. Marla Toyne, The Body Sacrificed: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Ritual Violence in Ancient Túcume, Peru
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Human lives and bodies become transformed into sacred offerings during sacrificial rites. We can recognize these transformative actions in the archaeological record based on the location of human burials – often in association with sacred spaces – and the evidence of peri-mortem manipulation of the bodies. This paper will describe and discuss the different ways in which human bodies have been manipulated in ancient Andean rites of human sacrifice as specific death rituals, outside of traditional or normative mortuary practices. I introduce the concept of the “body sacrificed” as a means through which to identify particular ritual significance in the treatment of these special sacred offerings. I use an example of human sacrifice from Túcume on the Northern Coast of Peru, as well as comparison with other documented sacrifice traditions across the Andean region. Using a bioarchaeological approach can help elucidate sacrifice rituals and practices with the focus on identifying and interpreting the physical manipulation of the body via evidence left on the skeleton. Furthermore, with comparative ethnographic data, we can identify the symbolic meaning in human burial arrangements and the manipulation of the bodies. I argue that the treatment of the body reflects specific symbolic gestures as part of the ritual process and that the death of the individual is only the part of a more complex process. Thus, we can elucidate possible meanings behind these transformative sacrificial rites in pre-Hispanic times.
book reviews
8. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Meerim Aitkulova, The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Center for Social Cohesion. By Tom Mills, Tom Griffin, and David Miller
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9. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Christopher R. Cotter, The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion. Edited by Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler
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10. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Liam Sutherland, Sanctity and Self-Inflicted Violence in Chinese Religions, 1500–1700. By Jimmy Yu
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