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Fields of blood: Religion and the History of Violence

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Language:
English
Description
From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God , a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence. For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness--something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world's great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present. While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity's Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith--not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism--in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred. In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name. Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence--and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time. At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong's sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.
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ISBN:
9780307957047
9780553399295
9780553545463
9780385353106
9780553399318
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 696ecc9b-35f8-83ff-e1ad-a4012daf11f5
Grouping Title fields of blood religion and the history of violence
Grouping Author armstrong karen
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-11-15 10:30:56AM
Last Indexed 2018-11-15 10:32:36AM

Solr Details

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author Karen Armstrong
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display_description "From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion's connection to violence. For the first time in American history, religious self-identification is on the decline. Some have cited a perception that began to grow after Sept 11: That faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance and divisiveness--something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? And does it apply equally to all faiths? In these troubled times, we risk basing decisions of real and dangerous consequence on mistaken understandings of the faiths subscribed around us, in our immediate community as well as globally. And so, with her deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong examines the impulse toward violence in each of the world's great religions.
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primary_isbn 9780307957047
publishDate 2014
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subject_facet Audiobooks, Violence -- Religious aspects
title_display Fields of blood : religion and the history of violence
title_full Fields of Blood Religion and the History of Violence, Fields of blood : religion and the history of violence / Karen Armstrong, Fields of blood [sound recording] : religion and the history of violence / Karen Armstrong
title_short Fields of blood :
title_sub Religion and the History of Violence
topic_facet Audiobooks, History, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality, Religious aspects, Violence