Article

Religion and Violence from a Political Science Perspective

Daniel Philpott

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/9780199759996.013.0028

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Religion and Violence from a Political Science Perspective

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This chapter presents an account for religious violence, and also evaluates institutional independence and political theology more carefully. Then, it uses these two factors to elaborate forms of religious violence: communal conflict and terrorism. Political theology and institutional independence are far from the only factors that explain religious violence, but it is proposed that they can account for communal conflict and terrorism. The analysis of Monica Duffy Toft's cases shows that nine of the twenty one religious civil wars in which religion has shaped ends have involved opposition groups with an integrationist political theology, all of them Muslim. Moreover, the analysis of the Terrorism Knowledge Base exhibits a positive link between authoritarian regimes and the site where religious terrorists work. It is noted that religious violence is least likely to occur in settings of consensual independence, which are found most commonly in religion-friendly liberal democracies.

Keywords: religious violence; political theology; institutional independence; communal conflict; terrorism; Monica Duffy Toft; religious civil wars; Muslim; Terrorism Knowledge Base

Article.  5661 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Sociology of Religion ; Comparative Religion ; Religious Issues and Debates

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