By Thomas Block
This unsettling ebook stories particular circumstances of “holy conflict” as proposed within the holy books of the foremost religion traditions, and illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to provide an explanation for the non secular quest. the writer proposes that this intermingling of conflict and spirituality prepares the inhabitants for the arriving of warfare. battle as non secular perform seems inevitable, because of this religio-violent schooling that is woven via all religion traditions. The institutional mixing of the sacred and human aggression seem to be basic to human society. the second one component of the publication particularizes this dynamic inside of our modern, American social and political milieu. It concentrates at the political language and speeches of yankee politicians considering that 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq battle and its continuation during the last decade, displaying precisely how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society. This e-book has huge strength readership, together with lecturers and lay readers eager about the fields of battle, political technology, peace and clash solution, faith, spirituality and basic social heritage. scholars from West aspect to St. John’s of Annapolis will locate it demanding and informative, maybe altering their perception of conflict, faith and human society
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Additional info for A fatal addiction : war in the name of God
The blood-thirst of the gods was satisfied by human sacrifice. E. ) provided a first-person account of a human sacrificial ritual. He related that a man was chosen on account of his ugliness and was fed figs and other delicacies. After this, he was whipped with a fig branch on his membrum virile. He was then burned and his ashes scattered in the sea. Other eyewitness accounts portray the Pharmakos (scapegoat, or healing object) as being simply driven out of the community after a period of humiliation and whipping.
Following the markers laid down by earlier Greek thinkers, Romans declared that a war could be just when it was “carried out in conformity with the proper set of religious laws . . ”111 In addition to war, Ancient Rome, like the 21st-century United States, found other ways of collective scapegoating to focus the human aggressive urges, using these manners to bring the rest of society together. ), solitary confinement for those designated “a risk to the state” and other perverse methods of fo- 38 Chapter Two: From the Beginning of Humanity cusing our innate hostilities on some “other,” thereby making the one nation under God possible.
One of the great mysteries for many people who have never been to war, nor considered going, is how individuals are compelled, seduced or choose of their own volition to go into combat. One fascinating aspect of war, one that can be difficult to fully appreciate due to its counter-intuitive conclusion, is that war counteracts the fear of death. Hannah Arendt noted this oxymoronic aspect of war, which uncovers for the soldier the fullness of life and power in the act of destruction: As far as human experience is concerned, death indicates an extreme of loneliness and impotence.