Journal Article

Binding–Unbinding: Divided Responses of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the “Sacrifice” of Abraham's Beloved Son

Yvonne Sherwood

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 72, issue 4, pages 821-861
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfh081
Binding–Unbinding: Divided Responses of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to the “Sacrifice” of Abraham's Beloved Son

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Media treatments of religion and violence after 9/11 have tended to polarize into two equal and opposite positions: the view that the attacks represent the “hijack” of the “Abrahamic” religions which, properly understood, are antithetical to violence, and the claim that violence and religion are virtual synonyms—a view epitomized in the British journalist Nick Cohen's “Damn Them All.”1 Both positions share the belief that violence can be expelled to a putative outside: either outside religion or outside progressive secularism as it frees itself from the ties of its religious other, conceived of as an archaic site of submissiveness, passivity, and heteronomy. This study problematizes these easy antitheses through a close reading of tangled, ancient responses to the so-called sacrifice of Abraham's beloved son. The contemporary antitheses seem both inadequate and naïve when compared to paradoxes of binding–unbinding in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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