Religion, Terrorism, and Civil Wars

Monica Duffy Toft

in Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827978
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933020 | DOI:
Religion, Terrorism, and Civil Wars

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This chapter has four main sections. It begins by discussing five anecdotes that highlight the role of religion in two types of large-scale violence: civil wars and terrorism. It then introduces key concepts, followed by important empirical facts about religious civil wars from 1940 to 2000. Finally, it examines religiously-inspired terrorism. Regarding both civil wars and terrorism, it is noted that religiously-inspired violence is, by and large, more deadly than violence justified by other means. In addition, it is shown that Islam has come to play a disproportionate role in violence: more than 80% of religious civil wars involve Islam, and religiously motivated incidents of terrorism involve Islam more than any other faith.

Keywords: religion; religiously-inspired violence; religious civil wars; terrorism; Islam

Chapter.  9647 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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