Displaying: 21-40 of 197 documents

0.088 sec

21. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Mark Juergensmeyer Postscript: Symbolic Empowerment of Religious Violence
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This summary essay looks at what the essays in this special issue have in common. It concludes that these are all instances of what might be called symbolic empowerment related to religious violence. Though the violence is real enough in each of these cases, the role of religion in relation to it is often indirect. These are cases not only where religion justifies violence but also where violence empowers religion. The use of religious language, symbols, and authority to justify violent acts gives religious spokespersons an aura of authority that gives them a symbolical power.
22. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Torang Asadi The Mai-Mai Rape: Female Bodies and Collective Identities at War in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The Mai-Mai soldiers comprise a rebel militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who believe that applying magical potions to their bodies and wearing leaves around their heads makes them invisible. Although they previously believed sex would diminish their magical powers, in 2002 they began to claim sexual intercourse strengthens the magic. With this theological change, they began to rape both foreign and Congolese women ritualistically and violently, making the rapes much more than weapons of war. The Mai-Mai’s alienation from and discontent with society has created a power struggle between two sets of collective identities (Mai-Mai vs. un-Mai-Mai) that are at odds over authority, legitimacy, and resources. This article focuses on how both religion and violence have been sharpened in the Mai-Mai’s collective struggles against hegemonic entities, while considering the limitations created by the lack of ethnographic research. This article proposes that violence should not be studied in terms of seemingly static and essentialized religion through which the perpetrators viewthe world, but in terms of socio-political and religious disenchantments that herald theological changes and innovations to seemingly established religions in each specific case.
23. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Manuela Ceballos Sufi Lovers as Sufi Fighters: Militant Piety in Muhammad ibn Yaggabsh al-Tāzī’s Book of Jihād
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Even though Sufism (Islamic mysticism) is often characterized in Western scholarship and discourse as an esoteric, tolerant, non-violent dimension of Islam, historically some Sufis have practiced and justified violence as an ethical form of struggle in the world. This essay analyzes the representations of violence in the fifteenth-century Book of Jihād by the Moroccan Sufi Muḥammad ibn Yaggabsh al-Tāzī (d. 1505), which advocates defensive jihād against Portuguese imperial expansion in Morocco. In particular, it focuses on the way in which al-Tāzī’s text stages violence for a popular audience while it simultaneously promotescommunal transformation through a rhetoric of love, where righteous fighters become God’s lovers. Furthermore, the essay examines the role of Jesus as a defender of the Muslim community in the Book of Jihād, and explores the physical, legal, and religious boundaries that al-Tāzī’s portrayals of violence help cross and inscribe. Finally, this article reflects on the implications of the broader tradition of politically engaged Sufism upon the aforementioned reductionistportrayals of Sufis as fundamentally opposed to violence.
24. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Leif C. Tornquist 'This Mighty Struggle for Life': Modernist Protestant Ministers, Biopolitical Violence, and Negative Eugenics in the 1920s United States
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Over sixty thousand Americans were sterilized in states that enacted sterilization laws during the first four decades of the twentieth century. American eugenicists supported these laws as part of a negative eugenics crusade to purify the white racial body. Many modernist Protestant ministers also publicly advocated these laws, endorsing them as an effective means for eliminating white degeneracy, enhancing the presence of God in the life of the race, and advancing God’s kingdom on earth. Drawing from pro-eugenic sermons and other writings by modernist ministers, this essay explores the role that modernist Protestantism played in publicly sanctifying the biopolitical violence of sterilization and in shaping a popular religious discourse that bolstered negative eugenic initiatives.The first section of the essay broadly contextualizes modernist Protestantism as an evolutionary discourse of Christian civilization. The second sketches the development of modernist evolutionary theologies during the nineteenth century. The third focuses on Protestant ministerial support for negative eugenics during the 1920s, demonstrating how modernists popularized sterilization as part of an evolutionary struggle against degeneracy and for the kingdom of God. The essay concludes by arguing that modernist Protestantism was an important religious discourse through which negative eugenic thought and practice found popular expression.
25. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Margo Kitts, Michael Jerryson Special Issue: Invoking Religion in Violent Acts and Rhetoric
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Contemporary discussions of the link between religion and violence are plagued by the contested nature of the terms. This essay summarizes some problems of definition and scope for those terms, and then introduces the four studies and postscript that follow. The four studies theorize and contextualize violent acts and religious rhetoric in today’s India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the 1920s United States, and in fifteenth century Morocco. The postscript identifies a theme common to the four essays, which is the capacity of violent rhetoric and acts to empower religious pundits in the public sphere.
26. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Aryeh Cohen Holy War in Judaism: The Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea. By Reuven Firestone
27. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
John R. Hall From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America. Ed. John D. Carlson and Jonathan H. Ebel; foreword by Martin Marty
28. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Kenneth Burres When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. By Charles Kimball
29. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Georgette Mulunda Ledgister Displacing the State: Religion and Conflict in Neoliberal Africa. Edited by James Howard Smith and Rosalind I. J. Hackett
30. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jack Lee Downey Dying They Live: Suicide Protesting and Martyrdom
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This paper will investigate the contemporary phenomenon of Tibetan autocremations, considering them as responses to Chinese colonization, in the larger contexts of self-mortification and political protest. The Tibetan self-immolations have been chronically underreported in the international media, but have elicited charged internal conversations within the Tibetan and allied communities. As a modern protest tactic, autocremation originated with the Saigon immolation of the Vietnamese monk Thích Quảng Ðức in 1963. As then, the current cycle of Tibetan self-immolations inaugurated some debate about the nature of these acts, and how they are to be interpreted as agentive manifestations of “communicative suffering”—whether these are suicides, patriotic sacrifices, religious offerings, or something altogether different. This renders the Tibetan pawos (Tib. heroes, martyrs) themselves as sites of conflict—conflict over their “message,” who is ultimately responsible, and what can or should be done. This essay uses the theoretical insights of Giorgio Agamben, Banu Bargu, and Michael Biggs to think through self-immolation protests within a mystical-political framework that constructs these acts as martyrdoms.
31. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Philip L. Tite Expressive Violence: An Introduction to Pain, Politics, and the Monstrous Other
32. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Nathan S. French An American TakfĪr?: Violence and Law at War
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Throughout the ongoing U.S.-declared war against terrorism, and the various jihadi-salafi responses to the same, relatively few researchers have considered both parties’ usage of the law as a technique of exclusion for authorizing violence against those who may not otherwise be killed. By comparing the underlying logic of takfīr applied by jihadi-salafi authors such as Abū Muḥammad al-Maqdisī (b. 1959) to the legal calculus used by the Obama administration to legitimate its targeted killings of U.S. citizens Anwar al-ʿAwlaqī and Samīr Khān seemingly without trial, this article identifies and analyzes how the juridical logic of the administration and jihadi-salafis possesses similar reliance upon declarations of an imminent threat and violations of norms of humanity and belief, respectively. Such a realization, it concludes, allows for the possibility of exploring a co-implicative logic of violence to both and, second, the possibility for a critique of declared states of emergency upon which such exclusionary techniques depend.
33. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Margo Kitts On Pain, Politics, and the Monstrous Other
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Responding to the papers herein, this essay ponders religious perspectives on pain and the memorialization of trauma; the opaque dynamics of self-immolation and the aesthetics of trauma art; grand narratives in wars on terror; and the existential disfiguring of the character of Job, a disfiguring which might be analyzed through lenses associated with ritual or poetics. The last theme broaches the point of the entire volume, which is the plethora of theoretical lenses that can help us to make sense of the behavior and imaginative expressions of religion and violence.
34. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Brian R. Doak Monster Violence in the Book of Job
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
In this paper, I explore the book of Job in terms of the symbolic and ideological warfare waged between God and the human protagonist, Job. Specifically, I argue that the invocation of various kinds of creatures under the “monster” rubric (such as Leviathan, Rahab, Yamm, the Twisting Serpent, and Behemoth) can be illuminated through a consideration of contemporary work—in the history of religions, literary theory, and film studies—that categorizes the monstrous in terms of ecological disorientation, metaphors of the torn human body, and the boundaries of the “home.” Moreover, I draw on the work of Marie Hélène Huet in her book Monstrous Imagination to argue that some of God’s showcase animals in Job 38–41 (most prominently Behemoth and Leviathan, but also others) should be discussed as monsters with reference to their ambiguous species representation and their “false resemblance” to other known creatures. When considered within the context of Job’s pervasive themes of geological and animal violence, Joban monsters take their place among the menagerie of creatures adduced by Job’s speaking characters as rhetorical gestures of disorientation, community redemption, and the meaning of small community experience within empire.
35. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Marie A. Pagliarini Spiritual Tattooing: Pain, Materialization, and Transformation
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This essay utilizes information gathered through in-depth interviews with people living in the San Francisco Bay Area to shed light on the phenomenon of spiritual tattooing—the practice of giving spiritual meaning to tattoos and to the process of tattooing. The essay analyzes the role of the body, voluntary pain, and marking the body in the context of religious experience and expression, and highlights the connections between spiritual tattooing and practices of self-violence. Spiritual tattoos work through an inside-out/outside-in mechanism. The process of tattooing draws abstract or overwhelming interior elements (thoughts, emotions, memories) out and materializes them through the infliction of pain. At the same time, things of desire outside the self (spiritual ideals, healing symbols, conceptions of a new self) are conveyed into the body through the process of painful inscription. Through the pain of tattooing and the marks left in the skin, abstractions are made concrete and real, shaping identity, memory, and spirituality.
36. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Reuven Firestone Jewish Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity, Zionism and Women’s Equality. Motti Inbari
37. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Margo Kitts Introduction: Violence and Biblical Imagination
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
For at least a century biblical scholars have explored prescriptions and descriptions of holy wars, punishing plagues, infanticides, treaty violations and lethal loyalty tests, not to mention the emotional torments reflected in prophetic rants and in some of the tradition’s most exquisite and excruciating biographies. Arguably, it is the Bible’s varied treatments of violence, in all of its forms, which make the text a classical repository of sobering human experiences, at least as recognized in the West. The articles herein ponder some violent themes related to biblical literature. They ponder the shared legacy of ancient Near Eastern literary motifs showing jubilant dining at the death of a foe; the reception history of Psalm 137’s last verses, which urge violence against children; contrasting family dynamics in narratives of martyrdom between Jews and Christians; depictions of children as victims and as cruel aggressors in the Christian didactic poems of Prudentius; and the biblical legacy of forceful parental authority and corporeal punishment embraced by some evangelical Christians. The four articles on childhood and violence derive from the 2015 AAR and SBL conference session on biblical violence and childhood, and are introduced and contextualized by Ra’anan Boustan and Kimberly Stratton, who moderated the session.
38. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Scott B. Noegel Corpses, Cannibals, and Commensality: A Literary and Artistic Shaming Convention in the Ancient Near East
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
In this contribution, I examine several ancient Near Eastern literary texts and artistic variations on the “banquet motif” in which one finds people dining while others die. I argue that these depictions constitute a hitherto unrecognized artistic device rooted in social protocol that represents an inversion of the custom of abstinence during mourning. It thus functions to underscore the contempt of those dining for the dying by depicting their deaths as unworthy of lament. In addition, the motif characterizes the dying party as symbolically and/or physically abased, because of his or her hubris, and thus deserving of a shameful death. Inversely, it portrays the dining party as symbolically and often physically elevated, and reveling in a divine reversal of circumstance.
39. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Paul Middleton “Suffer Little Children": Child Sacrifice, Martyrdom, and Identity Formation in Judaism and Christianity
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This essay examines the contrasting ways in which the sacrifice of children is portrayed in Jewish and Christian martyrologies. In these narratives of extreme persecution and suffering, death was often seen to be the way in which religious integrity and identity was preserved. It is argued that Jewish martyr narratives—for example, the First Crusade, Masada, and the Maccabees—reflect a developed notion of collective martyrdom, such that the deaths of children, even at the hands of their parents, are a necessary component in Jewish identity formation. By contrast, early Christianity martyr texts reflect an ambivalence towards children, to the extent that they are viewed as a potential hindrance to the successful martyrdom of their Christian mothers. Children have to be abandoned for women to retain their Christian identity.
40. Journal of Religion and Violence: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Joel M. LeMon Violence against Children and Girls in the Reception History of Psalm 137
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The reception history of Psalm 137 is marked by numerous attempts to mollify or expunge its descriptions of violence, specifically, its last line: “Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock” (verse 9, NRSV). This essay explores the various ways that interpreters have perceived the psalm’s violent imagery to be problematic and what they have done to change the psalm. Many interpreters have “spiritualized” the psalm, altering its rhetorical effect by suggesting that the “little ones” are little sins rather than little children. Still other interpretations have modified the structure of the psalm through a process of selective omission. Frequently, these versions do not include the last verse of the psalm. Yet, these versions often highlight and implicitly authorize violence against girls specifically, since a girl, “Daughter Babylon” or “a/the daughter of Babylon,” is the subject of the preceding verse. Throughout the analysis, special attention is paid to the reception of the psalm in Christian hymnody and other music, including art songs, anthems, and symphonic treatments.