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Displaying: 1-20 of 209 documents


1. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Margo Kitts Introduction to the Journal of Religion and Violence, Volume 8, Issue 1
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articles
2. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Zebulon Dingley The Transfiguration of Lukas Pkech: Dini ya Msambwa and the “Kolloa Affray”
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This article explores a violent episode in Kenya’s late-colonial history in which a confrontation between police and members of an anti-colonial religious movement called Dini ya Msambwa resulted an estimated fifty deaths. Drawing on archival documents and interviews with survivors, I reconstruct the event—the “Kolloa Affray,” as it became known—before showing how its violence has been preserved and transformed in the historical theology and ritual practice of the Dini ya Roho Mafuta Pole ya Afrika, which claims to be a continuation of the Msambwa movement. For survivors of the violence itself, and for others who suffered communal punishment in its aftermath, it is an historical wrong for which the British government owes compensation. For the Mafuta Pole faithful, however, the death of Dini ya Msambwa’s leader Lukas Pkech at Kolowa becomes a kind of second crucifixion, “cancelling” the violence of the past and ushering in a new era of forgiveness and reconciliation. The simultaneous preservation and negation of this violent past in Mafuta Pole historical consciousness is shown through an analysis of its discursive, ritual, and memorial practices.
3. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Robert Blunt Anthropology After Dark: Nocturnal Life and the Anthropology of the Good-Enough in Western Kenya
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Sherry Ortner has recently described Marxian and Foucauldian inspired anthropological concerns for power, domination, and inequality as “dark anthropology.” In juxtaposition, Joel Robbins has challenged anthropologists to explore ideas of the good life, conceptions of value, and ethics in different ethnographic contexts; what he calls an “anthropology of the good.” Between these poles, this paper attempts an anthropology of the “good enough” to examine beliefs and practices that may partially, and counterintuitively, ground local conceptions of trust in the gray areas of social life. The phenomenon of “nightrunning” amongst the Bukusu of western Kenya, I argue, undergirds a noctural economy of lending and borrowing—rather than theft and victimhood—of reproductive potential; nightrunners remove their clothing at night to “bang their buttocks” against their neighbors’ closed doors and throw rocks at their roofs to prevent them from “sleeping,” a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Due to the way Bukusu understand nightrunners to be sterile unless they “run,” while annoying, they are nonetheless considered deserving of sympathy. Key here is that Bukusu do not necessarily see such seemingly absorptive nocturnal activity as witchcraft. While the identities of nightrunners are protected by the darkness of night—a chronotope which usually indexes witchcraft and political corruption—Bukusu claim that nightrunners are categorically people that one knows “in the light of day.” The paper explores how practices like nightrunning might help us rethink social intimacy and trust.
4. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Justin J. Meggitt The Problem of Apocalyptic Terrorism
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The concept of “apocalyptic terrorism” has become common in the study of terrorism since the turn of the millennium and some have made considerable claims about its analytical and practical utility. However, it raises substantial problems. Following a brief survey of the way that the idea has been employed, this paper identifies difficulties inherent in its current use. In addition to those of a definitional kind, these include the treatment of “apocalyptic” as a synonym for “religious”; the assumption that apocalyptic is always primary and totalizing; homogenizing claims about the character of apocalyptic radicalism; mistaken assumptions about the causes and character of apocalyptic violence; problematic cross-cultural and non-religious applications of the term “apocalyptic”; the neglect of hermeneutics; and the dearth of contributions by specialists in the study of religion. The argument concludes that there are good grounds for abandoning the notion of “apocalyptic terrorism” entirely, but given that this is unlikely, it should be employed far more cautiously, and a narrower, more tightly defined understanding of the concept should be advocated by those engaged in the study of terrorism.
book reviews
5. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Philippe Buc War and Religion: Europe and the Mediterranean from the First through the Twenty-first Centuries. Arnaud Blin
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6. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Don J. Wyatt Religious Culture and Violence in Traditional China. Barend ter Haar
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7. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Katherine Allen Smith Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Crusades, Apocalyptic Prophecy, and the End of History. Jay Rubenstein
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8. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Aaron Ricker The Fourth Reich: The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present. Gavriel D. Rosenfeld
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9. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
John Soboslai Confronting Religious Violence: A Counternarrative. Richard A. Burridge and Jonathan Sacks, editors
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10. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Julie Ingersoll Classification Matters: Hiding Violence in Christianity in the United States
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articles
11. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Sean Durbin Violence as Revelation: American Christian Zionist Theodicy, and the Construction of Religion through Violence
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Drawing on Russell McCutcheon’s (2003) redescription of the theological category of theodicy as a socio-political rhetoric that functions to conserve social interests, this article examines the way that American Christian Zionists employ theodicies to explain historical, contemporary, and anticipated acts of violence. It argues that violence is central to Christian Zionists’ conception of God’s revelation, and thus to their identity. Rather than requiring the intellectual wrangling often associated with religious explanations for why violence is inflicted on or by a certain group of people, Christian Zionists identify acts of violence as either God’s punishment for insufficient support for Israel, or as God’s vengeance upon those who wish to harm his chosen people. In any given context, Christian Zionists draw on acts of violence to reaffirm their truth claims, and to ensure their desired social order is maintained.
12. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Brad Stoddard God’s Favorite Gun: The Sanctuary Church and the (re)Militarization of American Christianity
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This article analyzes the Sanctuary Church in Pennsylvania, pastored by Reverend Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, son of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon. It specifically addresses the church’s history and the theology that motivated “Pastor Sean,” as he is commonly called, to host a marriage blessing ceremony where attendees brought crowns and AR-15 rifles to church. It argues that this ceremony, and Moon’s theology itself, are extensions of the unique political, cultural, and legal battles increasingly common in the United States. It also explores the church’s critics who used the blessing ceremony as an opportunity to “save” the categories of Christianity and religion from being tainted by Moon’s martial theology.
13. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Sophie Bjork-James Christian Nationalism and LGBTQ Structural Violence in the United States
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This paper uses anti-LGBTQ bias within evangelical Christianity as a case study to explore how nationalist movements justify prejudicial positions through framing privileged groups as victims. Since Anita Bryant’s late 1970s crusade against what was dubbed the “homosexual agenda,” white evangelicals have led a national movement opposing LGBTQ rights in the United States. Through a commitment to ensuring sexual minorities are excluded from civil rights protections, white evangelicals have contributed to a cultural and legal landscape conducive to anti-LGBTQ structural violence. This opposition is most often understood as rooted in love, and not in bias or hate, as demonstrated during long-term ethnographic research among white evangelical churches in Colorado Springs. Engaging with theories of morality and nationalism, this article argues that most biased political movements understand their motivation as defending a moral order and not perpetuating bias. In this way they can justify structural violence against subordinated groups.
14. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Richard Newton Scared Sheetless: Negrophobia, the Fear of God, and Justified Violence in the U.S. Christian-White Imaginary
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The ideology of white supremacy is alive and well in the U.S. This paper argues that those attempting to understand how white supremacy works should delve into recent justifications of anti-black violence rather than simply waiting to spot the white sheets of the Ku Klux Klan. Doing so requires scholars to disabuse themselves of taking for granted the descriptions of what may be characterized as a U.S. Christian-White imaginary and to observe the dynamic, discursive shifts that Jean-Franc̜ois Bayart calls “operational acts of identification.” Drawing on incidents from antebellum slavery to the Black Lives Matter era and beyond, it is argued that white people have long been able to justify anti-black violence by appealing to a biblicist “Negrophobia,” wherein black people are rendered as frightening, even demonic creatures that must be stopped for the good of God’s kingdom. This paper presents a critical history of violence in America that is representative of a devastatingly effective strategy that continues to fortify the functional primacy of whiteness despite popular rejections of racism.
book reviews
15. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Thomas W. Barton Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity. M. Lindsay Kaplan
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16. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Karl Bell A Supernatural War: Magic, Divination, and Faith during the First World War. Owen Davies
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17. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Conor Q. Foley Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Horror Theory and Numbers 25. Brandon R. Grafius
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18. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Cathy Gutierrez Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism. Ruben van Luijk; and Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture. Per Faxneld
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19. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Pieter Nanninga Introduction: Jihadi Culture and Ideology
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articles
20. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Mathias Müller Signs of the Merciful: ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam (d. 1989) and the Sacralization of History in Jihadist Literature, 1982–2002
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This article explores how battlefield miracles were experienced, explained, and debated in jihadist literature in the period between 1982–2002. Competing with the secular histories written by foreign journalists, diplomats, and communists, the study argues that the influential jihadist scholar ’Abdullah ‘Azzam (d. 1989) endeavored to write an alternate sacred history of the Soviet-Afghan War (1979–1989), the course of which was determined neither by military prowess or luck, but by the miracles granted by God. Perusing more than three hundred miracle stories compiled by ’Azzam, the article demonstrates that the wonderworking mujahidin were indebted to a longstanding and complex tradition that determined the varieties of miracles experienced in Afghanistan. Moreover, the mujahidin’s own miracle stories shed light on when and how miracles paralleled or diverged from past tradition while raising important questions about the threshold of the supernatural, the mujahidin’s spiritual rank, and their abilities to encounter miracles. However, both mujahidin and the general public occasionally doubted whether miracles had really occurred, and so the article attempts to replay the discussions that surrounded ‘Azzam’s miracle stories, paying attention to how they were published, circulated, and received in the Muslim world. In conclusion, the article remarks on how ‘Azzam’s writings have influenced the development of miracle stories in later jihadist literature by looking specifically at al-Qa’ida’s portrayal of 9/11.