n Journal of Early Christian History - The Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding, Atalia Omer, R. Scott Appleby and David Little (Eds.) - book review

Volume 8 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2222-582X
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Various connections are made by the media and in public and academic discourse between religion and conflict. Whatever reductionisms and positions one takes, “it remains clear that ‘religion’ remains a critical variable to contend with, whether in attempting to explain various forms of violence or in recognising the empirical realities on the ground” (ix). The editors of this Oxford Handbook further note that “Humans are embedded within and inhabit historical, religious, social, political and cultural imaginations and contexts that inform their motivations and commitments to various forms of violence and, potentially, to various modes of peace-building and resistance” (ix). This Handbook takes a non-reductionist perspective as its point of departure and reflects “the inevitably multidisciplinary nature of the interrelations between religion, conflict, and the very practical orientations and pragmatic concerns of peacebuilding efforts.” It also aims at presenting what discourses, warrants and resources different religious traditions offer, both for legitimating violent conflict and for calling for its cessation.

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