Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger

Terror in the Mind of God, Fourth Edition

The Global Rise of Religious Violence

Mark Juergensmeyer (Author)

Available worldwide
READ AN EXCERPT

Paperback, 408 pages
ISBN: 9780520291355
March 2017
$29.95, £24.95
Other Formats Available:
Why would anybody believe that God could sanction terrorism? Why has the rediscovery of religion’s power in recent years manifested in such a bloody way? What, if anything, can be done about it?
 
Terror in the Mind of God, now in its fourth edition, answers these questions and more. Thoroughly revised and expanded, the book analyzes in detail terrorism related to almost all the world’s major religious traditions: European Christians who oppose Muslim immigrants; American Christians who support abortion clinic bombings and militia actions; Muslims in the Middle East associated with the rise of ISIS, al Qaeda, and Hamas; Israeli Jews who support the persecution of Palestinians; India's Hindus linked to assaults on Muslims in the state of Gujarat and Sikhs identified with the assassination of Indira Gandhi; and Buddhist militants in Myanmar affiliated with anti-Muslim violence and in Japan with the nerve gas attack in Tokyo’s subway.
 
Drawing from extensive personal interviews, Mark Juergensmeyer takes readers into the mindset of those who perpetrate and support violence in the name of religion. Identifying patterns within these cultures of violence, he explains why and how religion and violence are linked and how acts of religious terrorism are undertaken not only for strategic reasons but to accomplish a symbolic purpose. Terror in the Mind of God continues to be an indispensible resource for students of religion and modern society.
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Introduction: Terror and God
The Meaning of Religious Terrorism
Seeing Inside Cultures of Violence

PART ONE. CULTURES OF VIOLENCE

2. Soldiers for Christ
Anders Breivik, Defender of Christendom
Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing
Michael Bray and Abortion Clinic Bombings
Christian Justifi cations for Violence
Ian Paisley and the Troubles in Belfast

3. Zion Betrayed
Meir Ettinger, the Ghost of Meir Kahane
Yoel Lerner and the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
Baruch Goldstein’s Attack at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

4. Islam’s “Neglected Duty”
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Caliph of ISIS
Mahmud Abouhalima and the World Trade Center Bombing
Abdul Aziz Rantisi and Hamas Suicide Missions
Modern Islamic Justifi cations for Violence

5. The Spear of Shiva, the Sword of Sikhism
Maya Kodnani and the Gujarat Massacre
Simranjit Singh Mann and the Lure of Khalistan
Hindu and Sikh Justifi cations for Violence

6. Buddhist Faces of Terror
Ashin Wirathu and the Defense of Burmese Buddhism
Takeshi Nakamura and the Aum Shinrikyo Assault
Can Buddhist Violence Be Justified?

PART TWO. THE LOGIC OF RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE

7. Theater of Terror
Performance Violence
Setting the Stage
A Time to Kill
Reaching the Audience

8. Cosmic War
Grand Scenarios
Symbolic War
When Symbols Become Deadly

9. Martyrs and Demons
Sacrificial Victims
The Invention of Enemies
America as Enemy
Satanization and the Stages of Empowerment

10. Warriors’ Power
Empowering Marginal Men
Why Guys Throw Bombs
Fighting for the Rule of God

11. The Mind of God
Empowering Religion
Postmodern Terror
Curing Violence
Healing Politics with Religion

Notes
List of Interviews and Correspondence
Selected Bibliography
Index
Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and Global Studies and Founding Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“An unsettling book but also a courageous one. No one who truly cares about matters of faith can afford to ignore the dangers that lurk within religious extremism, and Juergensmeyer ultimately serves the highest aspirations of organized religion when he insists on shedding light on the darker corners of human belief and human conduct.”— Los Angeles Times
 
“This dark, enthralling book not only documents the global rise of religious terrorism but seeks to understand the ‘odd attraction of religion and violence’ . . . Juergensmeyer is a powerful, skillful writer whose deeply empathic interviewing techniques allow readers to enter the minds of some of the late twentieth century's most feared religious terrorists.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Juergensmeyer's work is a sensitive, comparative study of terrorist movements and the religious beliefs that motivate them.”—Washington Post

Grawemeyer Award (Religion), Grawemeyer Foundation

Join UC Press


Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more