Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought

Paperback | November 3, 2015

byRichard B. Miller

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Religious violence may trigger feelings of repulsion and indignation, especially in a society that encourages toleration and respect, but rejection contradicts the principles of inclusion that define a democracy and its core moral values. How can we think ethically about religious violence and terrorism, especially in the wake of such atrocities as 9/11?

Known for his skillful interrogation of ethical issues as they pertain to religion, politics, and culture, Richard B. Miller returns to the basic tenets of liberalism to divine an ethical response to religious extremism. He questions how we should think about the claims and aspirations of political religions, especially when they conflict so deeply with liberal norms and practices, and he suggests how liberal critics can speak confidently in ways that respect cultural and religious difference.

Miller explores other concerns within these investigations as well, such as the protection of human rights and a liberal democratic commitment to multicultural politics. In relating religion and ethics, he develops a new lens for viewing political religions and their moral responsibilities. This probing inquiry also forces us to rethink our response to 9/11.

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Religious violence may trigger feelings of repulsion and indignation, especially in a society that encourages toleration and respect, but rejection contradicts the principles of inclusion that define a democracy and its core moral values. How can we think ethically about religious violence and terrorism, especially in the wake of such...

Richard B. Miller is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and the author of Friends and Other Strangers: Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture (2016).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:November 3, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231150997

ISBN - 13:9780231150996

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. The Problem of Religious Violence2. 9/11 and Varieties of Social Criticism3. Rights to Life and Security4. Toleration, Equality, and the Burdens of Judgment5. Respect and Recognition6. Religion, Dialogue, and Human Rights7. Liberal Social Criticism and the Ethics of BeliefAppendix 1: The Right to War and Self-DefenseAppendix 2: Is Attacking the Taliban and al Qaeda Justified?NotesSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Miller offers readers a brilliant exercise in liberal social criticism, which stands firmly at the crossroads of moral theory, political philosophy, and pragmatic cultural criticism...it stands heads above many recent works on religion, violence, and terrorism in its thoughtful application of the tools of social criticism.