A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God by Thomas Block

By Thomas Block

This unsettling publication reports particular circumstances of “holy conflict” as proposed within the holy books of the most important religion traditions, and illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to give an explanation for the religious quest. the writer proposes that this intermingling of conflict and spirituality prepares the inhabitants for the arriving of warfare. battle as religious perform seems 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 second one element 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 because 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq warfare and its continuation over the last decade, displaying precisely how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society. This ebook has huge capability readership, together with teachers and lay readers interested in the fields of warfare, political technology, peace and clash answer, faith, spirituality and basic social heritage. scholars from West aspect to St. John’s of Annapolis will locate it difficult and informative, probably altering their belief of struggle, faith and human society.

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There is too much firsthand writing about the aesthetic quality of war to deny it. In appreciating its seductive splendor, we can begin to understand the more profound, spiritual aspects of war — and why individuals have gone to and continue to go to war since time immemorial. Even non-combatant writers have waxed more poetic about war than they ever have concerning flaxen-haired beauties. Helen of Troy, after all, launched a thousand ships; she did not stem the tide of war. It was her ability to create war that proved her beauty.

Isn’t it likely that Mussolini, as well as Stalin, Hitler, Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, Assad and others felt they were just such chosen leaders. Another recurring point in Plato’s Dialogues was that war should not be considered apart from justice. 108 He also said: “The state control is religion . . ”109 This is an idea that fits in today with the idea of the nation-state, and its massive social and even spiritual presence. Aristotle, twenty years Plato’s junior, further developed the conception of a “”just war”,” which influences religious and nationalist thinking to this day.

In a disturbing inversion, nationalism was authorized by the once-holy writ. A text that once posited collective identity as an act of God (“I will be your God if you will be my people”) came to posit the collective identity as the fiat of the nation authorized by God (“One nation under God”). Nationalism has held fast to this legitimization by transcendence. 41 And if nations are the will of God, it goes without saying that so must be their wars. A Parsimonious God Exacerbating the impetus for violence further, and providing the perfect outlet for the discovery of a scapegoat and the warring needs of nations and individuals, is God’s parsimonious nature.

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