Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence
Mark Juergensmeyer, Margo Kitts
Princeton University Press, Oct 30, 2011 - Religion - 235 pages
This groundbreaking anthology provides the most comprehensive overview for understanding the fascinating relationship between religion and violence--historically, culturally, and in the contemporary world. Bringing together writings from scholarly and religious traditions, it is the first volume to unite primary sources--justifications for violence from religious texts, theologians, and activists--with invaluable essays by authoritative scholars.
The first half of the collection includes original source materials justifying violence from various religious perspectives: Hindu, Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist. Showing that religious violence is found in every tradition, these sources include ancient texts and scriptures along with thoughtful essays from theologians wrestling with such issues as military protection and pacifism. The collection also includes the writings of modern-day activists involved in suicide bombings, attacks on abortion clinics, and nerve gas assaults. The book's second half features well-known thinkers reflecting on why religion and violence are so intimately related and includes excerpts from early social theorists such as Durkheim, Marx, and Freud, as well as contemporary thinkers who view the issue of religious violence from literary, anthropological, postcolonial, and feminist perspectives. The editors' brief introductions to each essay provide important historical and conceptual contexts and relate the readings to one another. The diversity of selections and their accessible length make this volume ideal for both students and general readers.
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Terrorism & Invisible Balance of Power
In his book, “Invisible Balance of Power, US vs Islamic Militants: Dangerous Shift in International Relations”, published in 2005, Sajjad Shaukat has taken present ‘different war’ as an interaction of ‘state terrorism’ led by the United States and the ‘group terrorism’ by the Al Qaeda or Islamic militants. It is notable that a number of authors have written books about the 9/11 tragedy, but ground realities developed in accordance with the book. After seeing the main title, some people think that the book is against the US or its western allies, but without any prejudice, he has discussed both the sovereign and non-sovereign entities on parallel lines in this research-based book. On the one hand, he has pointed out Al Qaeda’s ambush attacks, targeted killings, beheadings etc., while on the other, he has mentioned special operations by the US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and CIA-tortures cells in various Islamic countries. In this regard, missile strikes by the drones on Pakistan’s tribal areas and elsewhere amounts to state terrorism, which are being responded by the internal backlash…suicide attacks and hostage-takings by the Muslim radicals. Shaukat has proved that both the warring parties kill innocent civilians through ruthless terror.
Giving a number of references of the power-theorists like Machiavelli, Hobbes, Morgentahu etc. Shaukat has written that power factor or use of force has failed in this different war which took origin from the privileged and unprivileged status quo led by the most developed states and the less developed countries respectively.
Besides, Shaukat has introduced new ideas about the issues relating to the Islamic ideology, Jehad, liberalism, Western world, terrorism, causes of suicide attacks etc.
Particularly, future observations of the author like a prolonged war, failure of military paradigm by the state actors in coping with the non-state actors, increase in US cost of war, rise of more terrorism, unsuccessful mission of NATO in Afghanistan, plane plot in UK, international financial crisis, warlike situation between America and Iran, Syria and Israel including other developments have proved correct.
Shaukat also gave positive suggestions to the US, but President Obama did not act upon them. Therefore war on terror has resulted into more implications as already predicted by the author. For example, he elaborated that Al Qaeda fighters have been creating economic instability in the world through their subversive acts, giving a blow to the larger economies of the US and the developed nations.
The book indicates that realism (power factor) must be reconciled with idealism, which is essential for world peace and geo-political interests of the US-led developed countries and those of the small countries by reforming the system of the UN.
It is due to the present scenario of war against terrorism—which already pointed out by the author that the publisher reprinted the book after seven years.
Main Title: Invisible Balance of Power
Author: Sajjad Shaukat -ISBN, 9690019589
Published by: Ferozsons, 60 Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam, Lahore, Pakistan
Date of Publication: 2005
Price: Rs. 495
Reprinted in 2013, Price: Rs. 595
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