By Thomas Block
This unsettling ebook stories particular circumstances of 'holy battle' as proposed within the holy books of the foremost religion traditions, and illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to give an explanation for the non secular quest. the writer proposes that this intermingling of conflict and spirituality prepares the inhabitants for the arrival of battle. warfare as non secular perform appears to be like 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 basic to human society.
The moment element of the booklet particularizes this dynamic inside of our modern, American social and political milieu. It concentrates at the political language and speeches of yankee politicians seeing that 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq warfare and its continuation during the last decade, exhibiting precisely how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society.
This publication has huge power readership, together with teachers and lay readers thinking about the fields of warfare, political technological know-how, peace and clash solution, faith, spirituality and basic social history.
Students from West element to St. John's of Annapolis will locate it demanding and informative, might be altering their perception of warfare, faith and human society.
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Extra resources for A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God
The Stone Age (c. 85 Higher civilizations have been grafted onto this initial impetus. The founding text of the Abrahamic religions — the Torah — certainly has more in common with the original, sacrificial and violent impulses of the earliest humans than with any New Age dream of one world and one mind. We have built God, religion and society onto an original “sacred-violence” foundation. We have not evaded or superseded it. 86 Sacrifice As Bruce Chilton (Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College) noted in Abraham’s Curse, before war, even, the violence of God was satisfied through human sacrifice.
72 These exact words could easily be applied to the mystical path toward divine realization, which leads an aspirant to an appreciation of and respect for the God-nature hidden in everything, both living and inanimate. However, the issue tips when we look at just how war accesses this ultimate meaning — it does so by bypassing the rational thought process and accessing the animal aspects of the human psyche. Where war bleeds irrevocably into the lower strata of human nature is represented in the statement that war “obliterates self awareness and especially self-criticism” (Christopher Hedges, above).
Unlike Americans, however, the ancient Greeks did move beyond human sacrifice, ultimately settling on animals to provide the literal scapegoat upon which the society could vent its destructive urges. Walter 36 Chapter Two: From the Beginning of Humanity Burkert described the manner in which the animal would play this vital social role: “The heart is torn still beating from the body before all else. To taste the entrails immediately is the privilege and duty of the innermost circle of participants.
A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God by Thomas Block