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University of Toronto St. George
Joseph Bryant

February 29 12 Religion and WarViolenceReligious values beliefs practices and their social articulation in politics in kinship economics education and in WARReligion is often deeply implicated in group conflicts and violence1 religion and groupethnic identity CatholicProtestant JewMuslim etc2 Conflicts over sacred space The Holy Land demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhyaetc3 religion as institutional and cultural powerprivilegeforms of religiousbased domination and discrimination religion and law education norms values etcsays things about the distribution of power in societyWar as a form of social action that requires divine backing support patron deities blessings of priestsrituals to empowerpreliminary divinationsacred tendance of the deadclaims to divine favourReligions are either explicitly or implicitly ideologies of power because the forcesbeings they worship propitiate are worldorderingDivinationfinding out things through magicentrails of birdsanticipation of the gods favour A societys kriegstlukwar ethics its preferred style of collective raping looting burning enslaving and killing is typically interwoven with the prevailing religious mythologyworldviewA Vocabulary of acceptable motives why go to warB legitimate goals and opponents dehumanize the pother or sacralize objectivesC Approved ways of fighting Two basic orientations James AhoReligious Mythology and the Art of War1 ImmanentistCosmologicalwar maintains records the cosmos so war is a part of the natural order War and violence is built into the systemand the divine beings that are part of this picture are imminent in the cosmosparticipatoryEx Hindu epicMahabharata Aztec Guerra florida Norse or Viking religion etc2 TranscendentHistoricalreestablish gods law in history implement the divine planthis is essentially the orientation of the monotheistic traditionsEx Israelite conquest of Canaan Islamic Jihad Christian crusadesHoly war is one that Gd requires the faithful to fightconsecrated aggression against the enemies of Gd infidels apostates heretics etc
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