Article

Religion and Violence from a Sociological Perspective

John R. Hall

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199759996
Published online March 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199759996.013.0025

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Religion and Violence from a Sociological Perspective

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This chapter investigates the circumstances of violence in a way that identifies alternative “domains” in which religious concatenations of violence arise. Despite the fluidity of empirical trajectories and theoretical transitions among analytic types, diverse situations are not so idiosyncratically historicist as to prevent theorization of alternative patterns. Religious communities “contained” by a state may raise countercultural ideologies. The structural circumstances of violence have been modified by apocalyptic war. In social processes, the link of religion to political power differentiates a variety of hegemonic and counterhegemonic conditions in which religion and violence become concatenated. Theorizing relationships between religion and violence should not be an exercise in differentiating “ideal” and “material” causes but rather an effort to understand their complex interplay in social processes.

Keywords: violence; religious concatenations; theorization; apocalyptic war; political power; religion

Article.  5221 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Sociology of Religion ; Comparative Religion

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