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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014

Invoking Religion in Violent Acts and Rhetoric

Mark Juergensmeyer
Pages 352-356
DOI: 10.5840/jrv2014226

Postscript: Symbolic Empowerment of Religious Violence

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.

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