Religion and Violence: a bibliography Compiled by Charles K. Bellinger

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Religion and Violence: A Bibliography

Compiled by Charles K. Bellinger

[This is an expanded version of a bibliography published in The Hedgehog Review 6/1 (2004): 111-119.]


The literature on religion and violence was already substantial before the Sept. 11 attacks, and it has swelled at an increased pace since then. I have not seen abundant evidence, however, that the serious reflections on violence expressed in these books has made a noticeable impact on the shape of higher education, on news media reporting, or on the thinking of government officials around the world. This is unfortunate.

Popular opinion doesn't reflect on the complexity of violence. We assume that violence (that is, the violence done by others) is evil, but we don't understand it and seem to have little interest in understanding it. The authors listed below are trying to change that situation in both respects. They invite us to develop an interest in reflecting on violence and offer substantive understandings of it from their own perspectives. I foresee a time in the future when their efforts will bear fruit as a "critical mass" of interest develops and overcomes the apathy of our current situation. At that point, the ideas contained in these books will begin to have a significant impact on higher education, the media, and governmental and military decision-making.

I will append to each subsection below a short list of Library of Congress Subject Headings that will enable the reader to explore the topic further. The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of books that have been assigned that subject heading that fit the following parameters as of December, 2005: English language, published from 1980 to 2005, held by at least 50 libraries (according to WorldCat).


Social Science Perspectives

The books listed here are primarily analyses of violence written by psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists. Becker's work develops a theory of "death denial" as the root of violence. Alford's book is an updated version of Becker. Bauman argues that Naziism was the logical outcome of modern technological advances and concern for efficiency. The set of four volumes edited by Ellens is a major contribution to this topic, presenting essays by an impressive gathering of scholars in various fields. Volume 3 of Stout's collection of essays is similar. Jung is a widely read shaper of contemporary psychological thought.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Genocide -- Psychological aspects. (24)
Good and evil -- Psychological aspects. (27)
Religion and Psychology. (236)
Shame. (108)
Violence -- Psychological aspects. (154)
War -- Psychological aspects. (99) 

  • Aho, James Alfred. This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

  • Alford, C. Fred. What Evil Means to Us. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.

  • Antoun, Richard T. Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements. New York: AltaMira, 2001.

  • Bartov, Omer, and Phyllis Mack, eds. In God's Name: Genocide and Religion in the Twentieth Century. New York: Berghahn, 2001.

  • Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernity and the Holocaust. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989.

  • Baumeister, Roy F. Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty. New York: W.H. Freeman, 1999.

  • Becker, Ernest. Escape from Evil. New York: Free Press, 1975.

  • Bloom, Mia. Dying To Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

  • Bromley, David G., and J. Gordon Melton, eds. Cults, Religion, and Violence. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

  • Carter, Jeffrey, ed. Understanding Religious Sacrifice: A Reader. New York: Continuum, 2003.

  • Diamond, Stephen A. Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996.

  • Ehrenreich, Barbara. Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1997.

  • Ellens, J. Harold, ed. The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 4 vols. Westport: Praeger, 2004.

  • Gilligan, James. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic. New York: Vintage Books, 1997.

  • Goldberg, Carl. Speaking with the Devil: A Dialogue with Evil. New York: Viking, 1996.

  • Good, Jeanette Anderson. Shame, Images of God, and the Cycle of Violence in Adults Who Experienced Childhood Corporal Punishment. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1999.

  • Grossman, Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995.

  • Jones, James William. Terror and Transformation: The Ambiguity of Religion in Psychoanalytic Perspective. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2002.

  • Jung, C. G., and Murray Stein, ed. Jung on Evil. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

  • Lifton, Robert Jay. Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1999.

  • _____. Superpower Syndrome: America's Apocalyptic Confrontation with the World. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003.

  • Martin, David. Does Christianity Cause War? New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

  • Miller, Alice. For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots of Violence. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983.

  • Moore, Robert L. Facing the Dragon: Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications, 2003.

  • Oppenheimer, Paul. Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behavior. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

  • Peck, M. Scott. People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998.

  • Petito, Fabio, and Pavlos Hatzopoulos, eds. Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

  • Reich, Walter, ed. Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind. New York: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1990.

  • Selengut, Charles. Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira, 2003.

  • Stout, Chris, ed. The Psychology of Terrorism. Vol. 3. Westport: Praeger, 2002.

  • Tambiah, Stanley Jeyaraja. Leveling Crowds: Ethno-Nationalist Conflicts and Collective Violence in South Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

  • Waller, James. Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

  • Weinberg, Leonard, and Ami Pedahzur, eds. Religious Fundamentalism and Political Extremism. Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2004.


Humanities and Religious Studies Perspectives

The books included in this section are written from the perspectives of religious studies, or philosophy, history, literature, or journalism that includes attention to religious traditions. Appleby, Juergensmeyer, and Kimball have offered widely read commentaries on the various ways in which religion and violence are related to each other in the contemporary world. The Chase and Jacobs volume contains papers given at a major conference on Christianity and violence, including a lively debate between Stanley Hauerwas and John Milbank on the ethics of violence. The Jewett and Lawrence book criticizes the tendency of Americans to simplistically identify themselves with good and their enemies with evil. The Marty and Appleby book is part of an important five volume series analyzing fundamentalism. There is also a growing strand of books on cults, new religious movements, etc., in relation to violence.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Social conflict -- Religious aspects. (12)
Violence -- Religious aspects. (153)
War -- Religious aspects. (180)

  • Adams, Carol J., and Marie M. Fortune. Violence Against Women and Children: A Christian Theological Sourcebook. New York: Continuum, 1995.

  • Allen, Douglas, ed. Comparative Philosophy and Religion in Times of Terror. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.

  • Appleby, R. Scott. The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000.

  • Avalos, Hector. Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2005.

  • Barlow, Hugh. Dead for Good: Martyrdom and the Rise of the Suicide Bomber. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2007.

  • Barmash, Pamela. Homicide in the Biblical World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

  • Bekkenkamp, Jonneke, and Yvonne Sherwood, eds. Sanctified Aggression: Legacies of Biblical and Post Biblical Vocabularies of Violence. New York: T & T Clark International, 2003.

  • Beuken, Wim, and Karl-Josef Kuschel, eds. Religion as a Source of Violence. London SCM Press: Maryknoll N.Y., 1997.

  • Candland, Christopher. The Spirit of Violence: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography of Religion and Violence. New York: Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, 1992.

  • Chase, Kenneth R., and Alan Jacobs, eds. Must Christianity Be Violent?: Reflections on History, Practice, and Theology. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2003.

  • Crockett, Clayton, ed. Religion and Violence in a Secular World: Toward a New Political Theology. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

  • de Vries, Hent. Religion and Violence: Philosophical Perspectives from Kant to Derrida. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

  • Delaney, Carol Lowery. Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.

  • Docherty, Jayne Seminare. Learning Lessons from Waco: When the Parties Bring Their Gods to the Negotiation Table. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001.

  • Drury, Shadia B. Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics, and the Western Psyche. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

  • Eagleton, Terry. Holy Terror. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

  • Ellis, Marc H. Unholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.

  • Erickson, Victoria Lee, and Michelle Lim Jones, eds. Surviving Terror: Hope and Justice in a World of Violence. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2002.

  • Fields, Rona M., ed. Martyrdom: The Psychology, Theology, and Politics of Self-sacrifice. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.

  • Gaddis, Michael. There Is No Crime for Those Who Have Christ: Religious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

  • Gibson, E. Leigh, and Shelly Matthews, eds. Violence in the New Testament. New York: T & T Clark, 2005.

  • Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1998.

  • Gushee, David P. The Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust: A Christian Interpretation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994.

  • Haar, Gerrie ter, and James J. Busuttil, eds. Bridge or Barrier: Religion, Violence, and Visions for Peace. Boston: Brill, 2005.

  • Hall, John R., Philip Daniel Schuyler, and Sylvaine Trinh. Apocalypse Observed: Religious Movements, and Violence in North America, Europe, and Japan. London: New York, 2000.

  • Hamblet, Wendy C. The Sacred Monstrous: A Reflection on Violence in Human Communities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2004.

  • Hashmi, Sohail H., and Steven Lee, eds. Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Religious and Secular Perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

  • Hawkin, David J., ed. The Twenty-first Century Confronts Its Gods: Globalization, Technology, and War. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004.

  • Hedges, Chris. War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. New York: PublicAffairs, 2002.

  • Hoffman, R. Joseph, ed. The Just War and Jihad: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2006.

  • Houben, Jan E.M., and Karel R. van Kooij, eds. Violence Denied: Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History. Leiden: Brill, 1999.

  • Ignatieff, Michael. The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998.

  • Jésus-Marie, Bruno de, ed. Love and Violence. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1954.

  • Jewett, Robert, and John Shelton Lawrence. Captain America and the Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma of Zealous Nationalism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.

  • Juergensmeyer, Mark. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

  • Kakar, Sudhir. The Colors of Violence: Cultural Identities, Religion, and Conflict. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

  • Kaur, Ravinder, ed. Religion, Violence, and Political Mobilisation in South Asia. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2005.

  • Kimball, Charles. When Religion Becomes Evil. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002.

  • Kirk-Duggan, Cheryl A. Refiner's Fire: A Religious Engagement with Violence. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001.

  • Krakauer, Jon. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. New York: Anchor Books, 2004.

  • Lannstrom, Anna, ed. Promise and Peril: The Paradox of Religion as Resource and Threat. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003.

  • Larsson, J.P. Understanding Religious Violence: Thinking Outside the Box on Terrorism. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2004.

  • Levi, Ken. Violence and Religious Commitment: Implications of Jim Jones's People's Temple Movement. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1982.

  • Lincoln, Bruce. Death, War, and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology and Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

  • Lorca, Ernesto. One God: The Political and Moral Philosophy of Western Civilization. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2003.

  • Ludemann, Gerd. The Unholy in Holy Scripture: The Dark Side of the Bible. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.

  • Marty, Martin E. When Faiths Collide. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

  • Marty, Martin E., and F. Scott Appleby, eds. Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

  • May, John D'Arcy. Transcendence and Violence: The Encounter of Buddhist, Christian, and Primal Traditions. New York: Continuum, 2003.

  • McDonald, Patricia M. God and Violence: Biblical Resources for Living in a Small World. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2004.

  • McTernan, Oliver. Violence in God's Name: Religion in an Age of Conflict. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2003.

  • Milbank, John. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Cambridge, MA:  Blackwell, 1991.

  • Palmer-Fernandez, Gabriel, ed. The Encyclopedia of Religion and War. New York: Routledge, 2004.

  • Perica, Vjekoslav. Balkan Idols: Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

  • Puniyani, Ram, ed. Religion, Power & Violence: Expression of Politics in Contemporary Times. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005.

  • Reuter, Christoph. My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

  • Rinehart, James F. Apocalyptic Faith and Political Violence: Prophets of Terror. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

  • Rittner, Carol, John K. Roth, and Wendy Whitworth, eds. Genocide in Rwanda: Complicity of the Churches? St. Paul, MN: Aegis, 2004.

  • Robbins, Thomas, and Susan J. Palmer. Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem: Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements. New York: Routledge, 1997.

  • Rosenbaum, Ron. Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil. New York: Random House, 1998.

  • Schwartz, Regina M. The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

  • Seiple, Robert A., and Dennis R. Hoover, eds. Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004.

  • Sells, Michael. A Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

  • Snow, Robert L. Deadly Cults: The Crimes of True Believers. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003.

  • Sobrino, Jon. Where Is God?: Earthquake, Terrorism, Barbarity, and Hope. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.

  • Steffen, Lloyd. The Demonic Turn: The Power of Religion to Inspire or Restrain Violence. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2003.

  • Suchocki, Marjorie. The Fall to Violence: Original Sin in Relational Theology. New York: Continuum, 1994.

  • Voegelin, Eric. Modernity Without Restraint: The Political Religions, The New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2000.

  • Walliss, John. Apocalyptic Trajectories: Millenarianism and Violence in the Contemporary World. New York: Peter Lang, 2005.

  • Wessinger, Catherine Lowman. How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven's Gate. New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2000.

  • Wicker, Brian, ed. Witnesses to Faith?: Martyrdom in Christianity and Islam. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006.


Rene Girard, His Followers and Critics

If there is one voice that stands out in the realm of reflections on religion and violence, it is certainly that of René Girard. His religiously framed and interdisciplinary theory of human psychology and cultural formation through violence has already spawned a large secondary literature of response and critical commentary. Many of these works take Girard's ideas and restate, popularize, or apply them to specific topics, and are written from the perspective of an admiring follower. My contribution, The Genealogy of Violence, brings Girard's ideas into conversation with the insights into human behavior that are present in Kierkegaard's thought.

In my opinion, Girard ought to be nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature (or Peace), but it is doubtful that he is even on the radar screen of the nominating committee. If that Prize can be given to Sartre and Churchill, it could certainly be given to an author whose ideas are likely to make a significant contribution to any substantive improvement in human self-understanding that may occur in the 21st century.

A significant database of information on primary and secondary works relating to Girard is located on the web site of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Girard, René, 1923-. (21)
Sacrifice. (110)
Scapegoat. (16)
Violence -- Religious aspects -- Christianity. (66)

  • Alison, James. Raising Abel: The Recovery of Eschatological Imagination. New York: Crossroad Pub., 1996.

  • Bailie, Gil. Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads. New York: Crossroad, 1995.

  • Bartlett, Anthony W. Cross Purposes: The Violent Grammar of Christian Atonement. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2001.

  • Bellinger, Charles K. The Genealogy of Violence: Reflections on Creation, Freedom, and Evil. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

  • Fraser, Giles. Christianity and Violence: Girard, Nietzsche, Anselm and Tutu. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2001.

  • Girard, René. I See Satan Fall Like Lightning. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001.

  • ———. The Scapegoat. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.

  • ———. Violence and the Sacred. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.

  • Girard, René, Jean-Michel Oughourlian, and Guy Lefort. Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987.

  • Girard, René, and James G. Williams, ed. The Girard Reader. New York: Crossroad, 1996.

  • Hamerton-Kelly, Robert. Sacred Violence: Paul's Hermeneutic of the Cross. Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 1992.

  • Juergensmeyer, Mark, ed. Violence and the Sacred in the Modern World. London: Frank Cass, 1992.

  • Lefebure, Leo D. Revelation, the Religions, and Violence. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2000.

  • Reineke, Martha Jane. Sacrificed Lives: Kristeva on Women and Violence. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997.

  • Schwager, Raymund. Must There Be Scapegoats?: Violence and Redemption in the Bible. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987.

  • Swartley, Willard M., ed. Violence Renounced: René Girard, Biblical Studies, and Peacemaking. Telford, PA: Pandora Press, 2000.

  • Wallace, Mark I. Fragments of the Spirit: Nature, Violence, and the Renewal of Creation. New York: Continuum, 1996.

  • Wallace, Mark I., and Theophus Harold Smith, eds. Curing Violence. Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press, 1994.

  • Webb, Eugene. Philosophers of Consciousness: Polanyi, Lonergan, Voegelin, Ricoeur, Girard, Kierkegaard. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988.

  • Williams, James G. The Bible, Violence, and the Sacred: Liberation from the Myth of Sanctioned Violence. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992.


Commentaries on Islam, Violence, and Terrorism

This is a sampling of the many works that were published before the Sept. 11 attacks, and some since then, that consider the relationship between Islam and violence. Many of these works have the conscious intention of providing a counterbalance to the distorted views of Islam that are unfortunately widespread in the West. Huntington's work describing the "bloody borders of Islam" has provoked much discussion and critique in academic circles (including the book by Jonathan Sacks listed in the "Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution" section below). James Turner Johnson, Bruce B. Lawrence, and Bernard Lewis are widely recognized as "deans" of this field of study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Islamic Fundamentalism. (198)
Jihad. (87)
Terrorism--Psychological aspects. (50)
Terrorism--Religious aspects. (161)
War -- Religious aspects -- Islam. (30)

  • Abou El Fadl, Khaled. The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.

  • Akbar, M. J. The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict Between Islam and Christianity. New York: Routledge, 2002.

  • Allen, Charles. God's Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2006.

  • Bloom, Mia. Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

  • Bonner, Michael. Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

  • Cook, David. Understanding Jihad. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

  • Cragg, Kenneth. Faith at Suicide: Lives Forfeit: Violent Religion--Human Despair. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic Press, 2005.

  • Davis, Joyce. Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance, and Despair in the Middle East. New York: Palgrave, 2003.

  • Firestone, Reuven. Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

  • Huband, Mark. Warriors of the Prophet: The Struggle for Islam. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1998.

  • Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

  • Johnson, James Turner. The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.

  • Johnson, James Turner, and John Kelsay. Cross, Crescent, and Sword: The Justification and Limitation of War in Western and Islamic Tradition. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.

  • Kepel, Gilles. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

  • ____. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

  • Khosrokhavar, Farhad. Suicide Bombers : Allah's New Martyrs. London: Pluto Press, 2005.

  • Lawrence, Bruce B. Shattering the Myth: Islam Beyond Violence. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.

  • Lewis, Bernard. What Went Wrong?: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

  • Meddeb, Abdelwahab. The Malady of Islam. New York: Basic Books, 2003.

  • Milton-Edwards, Beverley. Islamic Fundamentalism since 1945. New York: Routledge, 2005.

  • Moghaddam, Fathali M. From the Terrorists' Point of View: What They Experience and Why They Come to Destroy. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2006.

  • Mozaffari, Mehdi. Fatwa: Violence & Discourtesy. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus Univiversity Press, 1998.

  • Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack. Is Religion Killing Us?: Violence in the Bible and the Quran. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2003.

  • Oliver, Anne Marie, and Paul F. Steinberg. The Road to Martyrs’ Square: A Journey Into the World of the Suicide Bomber. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

  • Partner, Peter. God of Battles: Holy Wars of Christianity and Islam. London: HarperCollins, 1997.

  • Talal, Hassan bin. To Be a Muslim: Islam, Peace, and Democracy. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic Press, 2004.

  • Victor, Barbara. Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2003.


Responses to 9/11

If you are imagining that there has been a flood of books written about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, you are right. This is a very selective listing of some of them. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who happened to have been in Manhattan on the day of the attacks, has offered thoughtful reflections on how the West ought to work through its emotional and political/ethical response to terrorism. Cooper draws on the philosophy of Eric Voegelin. Esposito, Lewis, Stern, and Lincoln are experts on Islam with important insights to offer from their years of study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001. (588)

  • Benjamin, Daniel, and Steven Simon. The Age of Sacred Terror. New York: Random House, 2002.

  • Berquist, Jon L., ed. Strike Terror No More: Theology, Ethics, and the New War. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2002.

  • Cooper, Barry. New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.

  • Esposito, John L. Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

  • Forrester, Duncan B. Apocalypse Now?: Reflections on Faith in a Time of Terror. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005.

  • Guiness, Os. Unspeakable: Facing Up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror. SanFrancisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.

  • Heyward, Carter. God in the Balance: Christian Spirituality in Times of Terror. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2002.

  • Ignatieff, Michael. The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

  • Langford, James R., and Leroy S. Rouner, eds. Walking with God in a Fragile World. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

  • Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. New York: Modern Library, 2003.

  • Lincoln, Bruce. Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion after September 11. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

  • Markham, Ian, and Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi, eds. 11 September: Religious Perspectives on the Causes and Consequences. Oxford: Oneworld, 2002.

  • Morris, Colin. Things Shaken - Things Unshaken: Reflections on Faith and Terror. Werrington, UK: Epworth, 2006.

  • Pyszczynski, Thomas A., Sheldon Solomon, and Jeff Greenberg. In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2003.

  • Scruton, Roger. The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002.

  • Stern, Jessica. Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. New York: Ecco, 2003.

  • Williams, Rowan. Writing in the Dust: After September 11. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.


  • Church, Forrest, ed. Restoring Faith: America's Religious Leaders Answer Terror with Hope. New York: Walker, 2001.

  • Kraybill, Donald B., and Linda Gehman Peachey, eds. Where Was God on September 11?: Seeds of Faith and Hope. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2002.

  • Loehr, Davidson. America, Fascism, and God: Sermons from a Heretical Preacher. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Pub. Co., 2005.

  • Polk, David P., ed. Shaken Foundations: Sermons from America's Pulpits after the Terrorist Attacks. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2001.

  • Simmons, Martha J., and Frank A. Thomas, eds. 9.11.01: African American Leaders Respond to an American Tragedy. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2001.

  • Willimon, William H., ed. The Sunday after Tuesday: College Pulpits Respond to 9/11. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002.


Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution

Out of the immense literature on peacemaking in general, I have selected some of the works that specifically focus on religious aspects of the problem. Lederach and Stassen are leaders in the area of conflict resolution strategizing. The Easwaran book tells the fascinating story of Badshah Khan, a Muslim associate of Gandhi. The Chappell, Goleman, and Nhât Hanh books present Buddhist perspectives on peace. Gopin is a Jewish scholar deeply involved in issues of inter-religious dialogue between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle East. Volf, Wink, and Yoder are significant contributors to theological discussions of peacemaking in Christian circles. The activism and writings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. have influenced many of the works listed in this section.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Conflict management -- Religious aspects. (48)
Nonviolence -- Biblical teaching. (11)
Peace -- Moral and ethical aspects. (28)
Peace -- Religious aspects. (314)

  • Abu-Nimer, Mohammed. Nonviolence and Peace Building in Islam: Theory and Practice. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2003.

  • Ariarajah, S. Wesley. Axis of Peace: Christian Faith in Times of Violence and War. Geneva: WCC Publications, 2004.

  • Arinze, Francis A. Religions for Peace: A Call for Solidarity to the Religions of the World. New York: Doubleday, 2002.

  • Barbé, Dominique. A Theology of Conflict and Other Writings on Nonviolence. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989.

  • Battle, Michael. Practicing Reconciliation in a Violent World. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse, 2005.

  • Brown, Tricia Gates. Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2005.

  • Burns, J. Patout, ed. War and Its Discontents: Pacifism and Quietism in the Abrahamic Traditions. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1996.

  • Campbell, Charles L. The Word Before the Powers: An Ethic of Preaching. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

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    Last updated: October 12, 2006

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