The Justification of Religious Violence

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The Justification of Religious Violence

by Steve Clarke

Wiley | May 5, 2014 | Trade Paperback

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How are justifications for religious violence developed and do they differ from secular justifications for violence? Can liberal societies tolerate potentially violent religious groups? Can those who accept religious justifications for violence be dissuaded from acting violently? Including six in-depth contemporary case studies, The Justification of Religious Violence is the first book to examine the logical structure of justifications of religious violence.

  • The first book specifically devoted to examining the logical structure of justifications of religious violence
  • Seeks to understand how justifications for religious violence are developed and how or if they differ from ordinary secular justifications of violence
  • Examines 3 widely employed premises used in religious justifications of violence – ‘cosmic war’, the importance of the afterlife, and ‘sacred values’
  • Considers to what extent liberal democratic societies should tolerate who hold that their religion justifies violent acts
  • Reflects on the possibility of effective policy measures to persuade those who believe that violent action is justified by religion, to refrain from acting violently
  • Informed by recent work in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience and evolutionary biology
  • Part of the Blackwell Public Philosophy Series

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 in

Published: May 5, 2014

Publisher: Wiley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1118529723

ISBN - 13: 9781118529720

Found in: Religion and Spirituality

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– More About This Product –

The Justification of Religious Violence

by Steve Clarke

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 in

Published: May 5, 2014

Publisher: Wiley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1118529723

ISBN - 13: 9781118529720

Table of Contents

Preface

1 Justification, Religion, and Violence

2 Religion

3 Morality

4 Justifying Violence,War, and CosmicWar

5 The Afterlife

6 The Sacred

7 Recent Justifications of Religious Violence

8 Tolerance

9 Reducing Religious Violence

References

Index

From the Publisher

How are justifications for religious violence developed and do they differ from secular justifications for violence? Can liberal societies tolerate potentially violent religious groups? Can those who accept religious justifications for violence be dissuaded from acting violently? Including six in-depth contemporary case studies, The Justification of Religious Violence is the first book to examine the logical structure of justifications of religious violence.

  • The first book specifically devoted to examining the logical structure of justifications of religious violence
  • Seeks to understand how justifications for religious violence are developed and how or if they differ from ordinary secular justifications of violence
  • Examines 3 widely employed premises used in religious justifications of violence – ‘cosmic war’, the importance of the afterlife, and ‘sacred values’
  • Considers to what extent liberal democratic societies should tolerate who hold that their religion justifies violent acts
  • Reflects on the possibility of effective policy measures to persuade those who believe that violent action is justified by religion, to refrain from acting violently
  • Informed by recent work in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience and evolutionary biology
  • Part of the Blackwell Public Philosophy Series

From the Jacket

Do religious justifications for violence differ from secular justifications for violence? The relationship between religion and violence has long been the subject of intense discussion, and indeed, followers of many different religions have committed violent acts and attempted to justify them by appealing to their religious convictions. Rather than questioning whether religion causes violence, Clarke explores how religious justifications for violence develop and whether or not they differ from secular justifications of violence.

Clarke demonstrates that many religiously based justifications for violence are as acceptable as rigorous secular justifications for violence, provided that crucial premises, which religion supplies, are accepted. Religious believers are able to incorporate premises, grounded in the metaphysics of religious world views, in arguments for the conclusion that particular violent acts are justified.

This book considers whether and to what extent liberal democratic societies can and should tolerate religious believers who believe that they are justified by their religion in acting violently. In addition, it reflects on our prospects for developing effective policy measures to persuade those who believe that violent action is justified by religion to refrain from acting violently.

About the Author

Steve Clarke is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Australia, and a Senior Research Associate of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He has published over sixty academic papers and is the author of Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge (1998), and co-editor of three books including Religion, Intolerance and Conflict: a Scientific and Conceptual Investigation (with Russell Powell and Julian Savulescu, 2013).

Editorial Reviews

“How could anyone believe that they are justified in blowing up school busses or the World Trade Center? What role does religion play in their thinking? Steve Clarke illuminates these complex and controversial issues with clarity and balance. This important book is highly recommended for all of us who wonder about the relations between religion and violence.” —Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke University “Avoiding big claims about religion causing violence, Steve Clarke argues that many religiously-based justifications for violence, far from being wildly irrational, are formally similar to those commonly offered as secular justifications. Clear, very readable, and thoroughly researched, the book makes a valuable contribution to one strand in the current debate about religion and violence.” —C.A.J. Coady, University of Melbourne "The heated debates over the relation between religion and violence that burst onto the world’s political and intellectual scene after 9/11 have spewed much foam and fury, but little fact or reason. Now, Stephen Clarke offers a sober yet humanistic analysis of how people justify violent acts in the name of religion, showing how historically and cross-culturally pervasive these justifications are. Mostly, secular and religious argument in support of violence proceeds much the same. The difference arises from three classes of premises that stem from religious metaphysics, and that transcend – and so resist con
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