CategoriesReligion & Philosophy FIELDS OF BLOOD: Religion & The History of Violence


FIELDS OF BLOOD: Religion & The History of Violence

KAREN ARMSTRONG    Book Number: 81770    Product format: Hardback

Before the creation of the nation state, religion and politics were an inseparable part of a person's identity, and in this challenging book, Karen Armstrong starts with the premise that violence was endemic in early hunter-gatherer communities. Moving down the centuries, she suggests that when the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire he enforced it with violence, that the Crusades were inspired by religious passion but were also territorial, and the Spanish Inquisition was initially an attempt to impose order after a civil war. In recent times, Armstrong points out that 93% of Muslims condemned the 9/11 attacks, and she argues that a counter-productive result of the Iraq war was to present the western world with images of suffering for which the West was directly responsible. A corollary of state violence is the need to belittle the enemy, often by suggesting that they are animals with no entitlement to human rights. Armstrong compares the photos of Iraqis humiliated by Americans with Nazi propaganda, suggesting that this has had a part to play in radicalising young Muslims. More recently, there has been no apology for drone strikes which have mistakenly targeted innocent civilians. Yet Armstrong points out that in every religious tradition the same beliefs can lead some to violence, others to peace. The peace-loving Buddhist leader Ashoka, the Confucian principle of ren, the egalitarianism within Shariah law, the Christian mystical tradition have all been forces for peace within a context of state violence. This book will make every reader reassess their assumptions. 512pp.
Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £8.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9780307957047
Browse these categories as well: Religion & Philosophy, History, War & Militaria

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