By Thomas Block
This unsettling booklet reports particular situations of “holy warfare” as proposed within the holy books of the main religion traditions, and illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to provide an explanation for the religious quest. the writer proposes that this intermingling of battle and spirituality prepares the inhabitants for the arrival of conflict. battle as non secular perform looks inevitable, because of this religio-violent schooling that's woven via all religion traditions. The institutional mixing of the sacred and human aggression seem to be primary to human society. the second one portion of the publication particularizes this dynamic inside our modern, American social and political milieu. It concentrates at the political language and speeches of yank politicians considering that 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq conflict and its continuation during the last decade, displaying precisely how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society. This booklet has huge power readership, together with lecturers and lay readers all for the fields of battle, political technological know-how, peace and clash answer, faith, spirituality and basic social heritage. scholars from West element to St. John’s of Annapolis will locate it demanding and informative, maybe altering their notion of warfare, faith and human society
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Extra info for A fatal addiction : war in the name of God
That state of the soul in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror . . 57 James Hillman echoed this sentiment, applying it directly to war: What is this euphonic simplification that war seems to offer? Is it because human responsibility has been surpassed and we have entered the sublime and are closer to the gods, and therefore beyond any considerations of good and evil? No need to consider anything except action . . 58 And American General George Patton (d. 1945) concurred, from firsthand experience: Despite the impossibility of physically detecting the soul, its existence is proven by its tangible reflection in acts and thoughts.
And images of death have always been at the heart of religion’s power to do just this. 37 The sacred consists of all those forces whose dominance over man increases or seems to increase in proportion to man’s effort to master them. Tempests, forest fires, plagues, among other natural phenomena, may be classified as sacred. 38 Violence stipples the sacred texts of all religions. While many religious followers read these passages as metaphor for the personal, spiritual struggle, those who seek to justify their violence as God-sanctioned can easily find passages to support their position.
Reported on the ancient practice of human sacrifice in Carthage (c. ; a Phoenician center in what is today Tunisia), detailing one event in which 200 children were selected for sacrifice in a time of war and another 100 were volunteered by their parents for “participation” in the rite. Diodorus also situates human sacrificial rites within the Egyptian (c. ), Celtic (c. ) and Messenian Greek (c. 89 Ritual slaughter of the most powerful member of a society was systematized in the Babylonian creation myth.