The War on Terrorism and the Terror of God

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Jun 1, 2004 - Political Science - 399 pages
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Uniquely relevant to a world shaken by recent acts of terror, this provocative analysis of our culture of violence calls people of faith back to the way of peace that has always been the proper Christian response to aggression.

With the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other, Lee Griffith takes a frank look at the historical events and modern forces that contribute to terrorism. This is not a book about small guerrilla bands of terrorists nor about so-called "Islamic terrorists" -- it is a cogent, open-eyed analysis of a "worldwide epidemic of violence.

In a discussion that will no doubt be controversial, Griffith argues that terrorism and counter-terrorism are identical phenomena when viewed at the spiritual level. To oppose terrorism with violence acknowledges the terrorist assumption that meaningful change is only possible through suffering and fear. Likewise, terrorism and counter-terrorism both employ similar God language to justify horrendous acts of violence. This is true not only of "rogue states" but also of Western leaders who use religious language on the eve of battle.

In response to today's culture of terror, Griffith points the way to a theology of peace. He first looks at specific current events that contribute to terrorism. Next, he mines the history of the church to see how the tradition has responded to violence in the past. Finally, he probes the biblical texts for meaningful answers. The result is a stirring message for our day: rather than serving as an incitement to violence, the biblical concept of "the terror of God" stands as a renunciation of all violence -- and of death itself.

Posing a radical faith for radical times, "The War onTerrorism and the Terror of God is sure to generate discussion from every quarter.

 

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Contents

The Meaning of Terror
1
Changing Allegiance Changing Meaning
19
Terror Is Not God
31
Terror and the Death of Community
37
The Terror of Antisemitism
60
Strangers and Aliens
69
The Ethics of Terrorism
75
Crusades
100
The Terror of God in the Apocalypse
203
Beyond Terror and Counterterror
219
On Not Making Concessions to Terrorism
220
Tolstoy Day Tutu
251
The Terror of the Cross and the Hope of the Resurrection
268
September 11 2001 The Terror and the Hope
271
Endnotes
279
Bibliography
361

Terror and the Prophetic Tradition
111
The Terror of God
129
The Abolitionists and the Judgment of God
185

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About the author (2004)

Lee Griffith is a teacher, author, and social activist who works with a community mental health program in Elmira, New York

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