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Shinners, dissos, and dissenters is a long-term analysis of the development of Irish republican media activism since 1998 and the tumultuous years that followed the end of the Troubles. It is the first in-depth analysis of the newspapers, magazines and online spaces in which strands of Irish republicanism developed and were articulated in a period in which schism and dissent underscored a return to violence for dissidents. Based on an analysis of Irish republican media outlets as well as interviews with the key activists that produced them, this book provides a compelling snap shot of a political ideology in transition as it is moulded by the forces of the Peace Process and often violent internal ideological schism that threatened a return to the 'bad old days' of the Troubles. -- .
"The Final Pagan Generation" recounts the fascinating story of the lives and fortunes of the last Romans born before the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Edward J. Watts traces their experiences of living through the fourth century's dramatic religious and political changes, when heated confrontations saw the Christian establishment legislate against pagan practices as mobs attacked pagan holy sites and temples. The emperors who issued these laws, the imperial officials charged with implementing them, and the Christian perpetrators of religious violence were almost exclusively young men whose attitudes and actions contrasted markedly with those of the earlier generation, who shared neither their juniors' interest in creating sharply defined religious identities nor their propensity toward violent conflict. Watts examines why the "final pagan generation"--born to the old ways and the old world in which it seemed to everyone that religious practices would continue as they had for the last two thousand years--proved both unable to anticipate the changes that imperially sponsored Christianity produced and unwilling to resist them. A compelling and provocative read, suitable for the general reader as well as students and scholars of the ancient world.
Why did the medieval Church bless Duke William of Normandy's invasion of Christian England in 1066, and authorize cultural genocide in Provence? How could a Western Christian army sack Christian Constantinople in 1204? Why did thousands of ordinary men, and women too, led by knights and ladies, kings and queens, embark on campaigns of fanatical conquest in the world of Islam?;Contemporaries did not call the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 'The First Crusade', nor the heroic contest between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, the 'Third Crusade' - the word had not yet been invented. But the idea of a war for the faith had been around for many years. Why it started, when, and what was the reality of 'The Crusades' are some of the questions this book aims to answer.;Many people saw the Crusades as pilgrimages, many believed they were doing the will of God, and many more were there for the booty. This was an institution that for more than five centuries punctuated European history, troubled Christian consciences and embittered Muslim attitudes towards the West. Geoffrey Hindley takes us from the Middle East and Muslim Spain to the pagan Baltic when 'Crusaders' reclaimed or extended Europe'
In the spring of 1575, Holland's Northern Quarter--the waterlogged peninsula stretching from Amsterdam to the North Sea--was threatened with imminent invasion by the Spanish army. Since the outbreak of the Dutch Revolt a few years earlier, the Spanish had repeatedly failed to expel the rebels under William of Orange from this remote region, and now there were rumors that the war-weary population harbored traitors conspiring to help the Spanish invade. In response, rebel leaders arrested a number of vagrants and peasants, put them on the rack, and brutally tortured them until they confessed and named their principals--a witch-hunt that eventually led to a young Catholic lawyer named Jan Jeroenszoon.
"Treason in the Northern Quarter" tells how Jan Jeroenszoon, through great personal courage and faith in the rule of law, managed to survive gruesome torture and vindicate himself by successfully arguing at trial that the authorities remained subject to the law even in times of war. Henk van Nierop uses Jan Jeroenszoon's exceptional story to give the first account of the Dutch Revolt from the point of view of its ordinary victims--town burghers, fugitive Catholic clergy, peasants, and vagabonds. For them the Dutch Revolt was not a heroic struggle for national liberation but an ordinary dirty war, something to be survived, not won.
An enthralling account of an unsuspected story with surprising modern resonance, "Treason in the Northern Quarter" presents a new image of the Dutch Revolt, one that will fascinate anyone interested in the nature of revolution and civil war or the fate of law during wartime.
In this book Norman Housley, one of the most distinguished
historians of the medieval period, provides an introduction to the
complex history of crusading.
For more than two decades the United States has responded to global terrorism primarily as a physical threat, avoiding direct confrontation with the beliefs and ideas that motivate it. This collection of essays seeks to redress this imbalance. It aims to give decision-makers the tools to craft an effective strategy for countering and defeating the beliefs that motivate Islamist terrorists by examining those beliefs closely and drawing on the lessons to be learned from past ideological conflicts.
The staggering story of the most influential Chinese political dissident of the Mao era, a devout Christian who was imprisoned, tortured, and executed by the regime Blood Letters tells the astonishing tale of Lin Zhao, a Chinese poet and journalist arrested by the regime in 1960 and executed eight years later, at the height of the Cultural Revolution. Alone among the victims of Mao's dictatorship, she maintained a stubborn and open opposition during the years she was imprisoned. She rooted her dissent in her Christian faith--and expressed it in long, prophetic writings done in her own blood, and at times on her clothes and on cloth torn from her bedsheets. Miraculously, Lin Zhao's prison writings survived, though they have only recently come to light. Drawing on these works and others from the years before her arrest, as well as interviews with friends, family, and classmates, Lian Xi paints an indelible portrait of courage and faith in the face of unrelenting evil.
The al-Qaeda Franchise asks why al-Qaeda adopted a branching-out strategy, introducing seven franchises spread over the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. After all, transnational terrorist organizations can expand through other organizational strategies. Forming franchises was not an inevitable outgrowth of al-Qaeda's ideology or its U.S.-focused strategy. The efforts to create local franchises have also undermined one of al-Qaeda's primary achievements: the creation of a transnational entity based on religious, not national, affiliation. The book argues that al-Qaeda's branching out strategy was not a sign of strength, but instead a response to its decline in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Franchising reflected an escalation of al-Qaeda's commitments in response to earlier strategic mistakes, leaders' hubris, and its diminished capabilities. Although the introduction of new branches helped al-Qaeda create a frightening image far beyond its actual capabilities, ultimately this strategy neither increased the al-Qaeda threat, nor enhanced the organization's political objectives. In fact, the rise of ISIS from an al-Qaeda branch to the dominant actor in the jihadi camp demonstrates how expansion actually incurred heavy costs for al-Qaeda. The al-Qaeda Franchise goes beyond explaining the adoption of a branching out strategy, also exploring particular expansion choices. Through nine case studies, it analyzes why al-Qaeda formed branches in some arenas but not others, and why its expansion in some locations, such as Yemen, took the form of in-house franchising (with branches run by al-Qaeda's own fighters), while other locations, such as Iraq and Somalia, involved merging with groups already operating in the target arena. It ends with an assessment of al-Qaeda's future in light of the turmoil in the Middle East, the ascendance of ISIS, and US foreign policy.
Behind a gruesome ISIS beheading video lies the untold story of the men in orange and the faith community that formed these unlikely modern-day saints and heroes. In a carefully choreographed propaganda video released in February 2015, ISIS militants behead twenty-one orange-clad Christian men on a Libyan beach. In the West, daily reports of new atrocities may have displaced the memory of this particularly vile event. But not in the world from which the murdered came. All but one were young Coptic Christian migrant workers from Egypt. Acclaimed literary writer Martin Mosebach traveled to the Egyptian village of El-Aour to meet their families and better understand the faith and culture that shaped such conviction. He finds himself welcomed into simple concrete homes through which swallows dart. Portraits of Jesus and Mary hang on the walls along with roughhewn shrines to now-famous loved ones. Mosebach is amazed time and again as, surrounded by children and goats, the bereaved replay the cruel propaganda video on an iPad. There is never any talk of revenge, but only the pride of having a martyr in the family, a saint in heaven. "The 21" appear on icons crowned like kings, celebrated even as their community grieves. A skeptical Westerner, Mosebach finds himself a stranger in this world in which everything is the reflection or fulfillment of biblical events, and facing persecution with courage is part of daily life. In twenty-one symbolic chapters, each preceded by a picture, Mosebach offers a travelogue of his encounter with a foreign culture and a church that has preserved the faith and liturgy of early Christianity - the "Church of the Martyrs." As a religious minority in Muslim Egypt, the Copts find themselves caught in a clash of civilizations. This book, then, is also an account of the spiritual life of an Arab country stretched between extremism and pluralism, between a rich biblical past and the shopping centers of New Cairo.
How did the medieval Middle East transform from a majority-Christian world to a majority-Muslim world, and what role did violence play in this process? Christian Martyrs under Islam explains how Christians across the early Islamic caliphate slowly converted to the faith of the Arab conquerors and how small groups of individuals rejected this faith through dramatic acts of resistance, including apostasy and blasphemy. Using previously untapped sources in a range of Middle Eastern languages, Christian Sahner introduces an unknown group of martyrs who were executed at the hands of Muslim officials between the seventh and ninth centuries CE. Found in places as diverse as Syria, Spain, Egypt, and Armenia, they include an alleged descendant of Muhammad who converted to Christianity, high-ranking Christian secretaries of the Muslim state who viciously insulted the Prophet, and the children of mixed marriages between Muslims and Christians. Sahner argues that Christians never experienced systematic persecution under the early caliphs, and indeed, they remained the largest portion of the population in the greater Middle East for centuries after the Arab conquest. Still, episodes of ferocious violence contributed to the spread of Islam within Christian societies, and memories of this bloodshed played a key role in shaping Christian identity in the new Islamic empire. Christian Martyrs under Islam examines how violence against Christians ended the age of porous religious boundaries and laid the foundations for more antagonistic Muslim-Christian relations in the centuries to come.
From Partition to Brexit is the first book to chart the political and ideological evolution of Irish government policy towards Northern Ireland from the partition of the country in 1921 to the present day. Based on extensive original research, this groundbreaking and timely study challenges the idea that Irish governments have pursued a consistent set of objectives and policies towards Northern Ireland to reveal a dynamic story of changing priorities. The book demonstrates how in its relations with the British Government, Dublin has been transformed from spurned supplicant to vital partner in determining Northern Ireland's future, a partnership jeopardised by Britain's decision to leave the European Union. Informed, robust and innovative, From Partition to Brexit is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish or British history and politics, and will appeal to students of diplomacy, international relations and conflict studies. -- .
Why "the Muslim question" is really about the West and its own anxieties-not Islam In this fearless, original book, Anne Norton demolishes the notion that there is a "clash of civilizations" between the West and Islam. What is really in question, she argues, is the West's commitment to its own ideals: to democracy and the Enlightenment trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity. In the most fundamental sense, the Muslim question is about the values not of Islamic, but of Western, civilization.
'Masterfully opens up a little explored realm: how the quest for religion and spirituality drives hundreds of millions of Chinese' Pankaj Mishra 'A fascinating odyssey ... a nuanced group portrait of Chinese citizens striving for non-material answers in an era of frenetic materialism' Julia Lovell, Guardian 'The reappearance and flourishing of religion is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the dramatic changes in China in recent decades...this is a beautiful, moving and insightful book' Michael Szonyi In no society on Earth was there such a ferocious attempt to eradicate all trace of religion as in modern China. But now, following a century of violent antireligious campaigns, China is awash with new temples, churches, and mosques - as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty - over what it means to be Chinese, and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality and is still searching for new guideposts. The Souls of China is the result of some fifteen years of studying and travelling around China. The message of Ian Johnson's extraordinary book is that China is now experiencing a 'Great Awakening' on a vast scale. Everywhere long-suppressed religions are rebuilding, often in new forms, and reshaping the values and behaviours of entire communities. Ian Johnson is as happy explaining the wonders of the lunar calendar as talking to the yinyang man who ensures proper burials. He visits meditation masters and the charismatic head of a Chengdu church. The result is a rich and funny work that challenges conventional wisdom about China. Xi Jinping, China's current leader, has put a return to morality and Chinese tradition at the heart of his ideas for his country - but, Johnson asks, at what point will the rapid spread of belief form an unmanageable challenge to the Party's monopoly on power?
On 9th August 1945, the US dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Of the dead, approximately 8500 were Catholic Christians, representing over sixty percent of the community. In this collective biography, nine Catholic survivors share personal and compelling stories about the aftermath of the bomb and their lives since that day. Examining the Catholic community's interpretation of the A-bomb, this book not only uses memory to provide a greater understanding of the destruction of the bombing, but also links it to the past experiences of religious persecution, drawing comparisons with the 'Secret Christian' groups which survived in the Japanese countryside after the banning of Christianity. Through in-depth interviews, it emerges that the memory of the atomic bomb is viewed through the lens of a community which had experienced suffering and marginalisation for more than 400 years. Furthermore, it argues that their dangerous memory confronts Euro-American-centric narratives of the atomic bombings, whilst also challenging assumptions around a providential bomb. Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki presents the voices of Catholics, many of whom have not spoken of their losses within the framework of their faith before. As such, it will be invaluable to students and scholars of Japanese history, religion and war history.
'A groundbreaking study ... a masterclass in how to do intellectual history, and one that nobody with an interest in radical Islam should miss' Tom Holland, New Statesman 'Readers looking for a rigorous but lucid account of Islamic State's ideas will be well-served by Maher's book ... the first of its kind' Kyle W. Orton, Wall Street Journal No topic has gripped the public imagination so dramatically as the spectre of global jihadism. While much has been said about the way jihadists behave, their ideology remains poorly understood. Shiraz Maher charts the intellectual underpinnings of salafi-jihadism from its origins in the mountains of the Hindu Kush to the jihadist insurgencies of the 1990s and the 9/11 wars. His ground-breaking introduction to salafi-jihadism recalibrates our understanding of the ideas underpinning one of the most destructive political philosophies of our time. 'Magisterial ... Essential reading' Robin Yassin-Kassab, The National 'Shiraz Maher, a leading authority on contemporary Islamic extremism, traces the evolution of the key ideas behind one of the most significant religious and political movements of our time. Comprehensive, important and timely' Jason Burke, author of Al-Qaeda 'A work of genuine interest and originality ... indispensable' David Patrikarakos, Literary Review
Recent historical studies on the Ottoman Empire have taken for granted that subjects of the Ottoman polity flourished under a so-called "Pax Ottomanica." This edited volume probes the rosy narrative of Ottoman tolerance that has long dominated the discussions. The articles carefully strive to contextualize the many issues that sound like ethnic slurs, racial stereotyping, religious discrimination, misogyny and elitism to modern ears. The goal of the volume is not to prove that Ottoman society was a persecuting one, or that dislike or distrust was its defining characteristic, but to investigate the axes of tension, blemishes, and fractures in the everyday practice of coexistence in a dynamic, multi-religious, multi-confessional and multi-ethnic empire in which difference was the norm rather than the exception.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, religious fundamentalism has dominated public debate as never before. Policymakers, educators and the general public all want to know: Why do fundamentalist movements turn violent? Are fundamentalisms a global threat to human rights, security and democratic forms of government? What is the future of fundamentalism? To answer questions like these, "Strong Religion" draws on the results of the Fundamentalism Project, a decade-long interdisciplinary study of antimodernist, antisecular militant religious movements on five continents and within seven religious traditions. The authors of this study analyze the various social structures, cultural contexts and political environments in which fundamentalist movements have emerged around the world, from the Islamic Hamas and Hizbullah to the Catholic and Protestant paramilitaries of Northern Ireland, and from the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition of the United states to the Sikh radicals and Hindu nationalists of India. Offering a vividly detailed portrait of the cultures that nourish such movements, "Strong Religion" describes different modes of fundamentalism and identifies the kinds of historical events that can trigger them. For anyone who wants to understand why fundamentalist movements arise and what makes them turn violent, "Strong Religion" should be essential reading.
This book traces the global, national, and local origins of the conflict between Muslims and Jews in France, challenging the belief that rising anti-Semitism in France is rooted solely in the unfolding crisis in Israel and Palestine. Maud Mandel shows how the conflict in fact emerged from processes internal to French society itself even as it was shaped by affairs elsewhere, particularly in North Africa during the era of decolonization.
Mandel examines moments in which conflicts between Muslims and Jews became a matter of concern to French police, the media, and an array of self-appointed spokesmen from both communities: Israel's War of Independence in 1948, France's decolonization of North Africa, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the 1968 student riots, and Francois Mitterrand's experiments with multiculturalism in the 1980s. She takes an in-depth, on-the-ground look at interethnic relations in Marseille, which is home to the country's largest Muslim and Jewish populations outside of Paris. She reveals how Muslims and Jews in France have related to each other in diverse ways throughout this history--as former residents of French North Africa, as immigrants competing for limited resources, as employers and employees, as victims of racist aggression, as religious minorities in a secularizing state, and as French citizens.
In "Muslims and Jews in France," Mandel traces the way these multiple, complex interactions have been overshadowed and obscured by a reductionist narrative of Muslim-Jewish polarization."
A provocative and insightful analysis that sheds new light on one of the most puzzling and historically unsettling conundrums
Why the Germans? Why the Jews? Countless historians have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and insightful as those of maverick German historian Gotz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism was--to a previously overlooked extent--driven in large part by material concerns, not racist ideology or religious animosity. As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the difficulties of the lethargic, economically backward German majority stood in marked contrast to the social and economic success of the agile Jewish minority. This success aroused envy and fear among the Gentile population, creating fertile ground for murderous Nazi politics.
Surprisingly, and controversially, Aly shows that the roots of the Holocaust are deeply intertwined with German efforts to create greater social equality. Redistributing wealth from the well-off to the less fortunate was in many respects a laudable goal, particularly at a time when many lived in poverty. But as the notion of material equality took over the public imagination, the skilled, well-educated Jewish population came to be seen as having more than its fair share. Aly's account of this fatal social dynamic opens up a new vantage point on the greatest crime in history and is sure to prompt heated debate for years to come.
Founded in the early twelfth century, allegedly to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, the Knights Templar became famous for their pioneer banking system, crusading zeal, and strict vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. Having grown to some 15,000 men, they came to be perceived as a threat by Philip the Fair, who in 1307 disbanded the group and tortured their leaders for confessions. The French king accused the order of heresy, sodomy and blasphemy. Recent works of fiction and popular histories have created a resurgence of interest in the mysterious Knights Templar. Numerous contradictory and fantastic claims are made about them, adding to the enigma that already surrounds the warrior monks of France. In this unique collection of lecture material and writings from Rudolf Steiner, a new perspective emerges. Based on his spiritual perceptions, Steiner speaks of the Templars' connection to the esoteric tradition of St John, their relationship with the Holy Grail, and their spiritual dedication to Christ. He describes the secret order that existed within the Templars, and the strange rituals they performed. He also throws light on the Templars' attitude to the Roman Church, and the spiritual forces that inspired their torture and confessions.
Jihadism, Foreign Fighters and Radicalization in the EU addresses the organizational and strategic changes in terrorism in Europe as a result of urban jihadism and the influx of foreign fighters of European nationality or residence. Examining the different types of responses to the treatment of radicalization and its consequences in the recruitment of young urban fighters and jihadists, this book offers a framework for understanding the process of violent radicalization. It critically analyses political and legal responses that have taken place within the European framework, whilst also examining a series of functional responses from social and behavioural psychology. This book then goes on to develop an explanatory model from an economic standpoint, exploring the need to adapt the fight against the financing of terrorism to the changes in the sources of financing jihadist cells and foreign fighters. Furthermore, the volume draws on experience from the prison sector to assess the process of radicalization and the possibilities of intervention. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book will be of great interest to students of terrorism and counter-terrorism, radicalization, European politics, radical Islam and security studies.
The rise of ISIS and the murderous trail they have carved across the Middle East have brought the fate of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian Christians to the forefront of the news. This book, drawing on eye-witness accounts, brings that suffering into clear focus. Beginning with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the book traces the story of the war, the occupation, and the resulting impact on Iraqi and Syrian churches, to the present day. The book traces the lives of key individuals and their families, as the author returns again and again, over a twelve year period.
For Christians living as a persecuted minority in the Middle East, the question of whether their allegiance should lie with their faith or with the national communities they live in is a difficult one. This collection of essays aims to reconcile this conflict of allegiance by looking at the biblical vision of citizenship and showing that Christians can live and work as citizens of the state without compromising their beliefs and make a constructive contribution to the life of the countries they live in. The contributors come from a range of prestigious academic and religious posts and provide analysis on a range of issues such as dual nationalism, patriotism and the increase of Islamic fundamentalism. An insightful look into the challenges religious minorities face in countries where they are a minority, these essays provide a peace-building and reconciliatory conclusion for readers to consider.
This work, Radical Islam and Civil Conflict in Africa, is written by a two-time Fulbright-Hays Fellow who currently serves as course director of global and world history courses within the University of Maryland University College system. The author, Norman C. Rothman, Ph.D., has written numerous published works related to Islam. This work serves to highlight recent and continuous struggles between Islamic militant forces and civil societies in North Africa, West Africa, and East Africa. The countries that will represent these regions are Libya, Nigeria, and Somalia. These countries are currently witnessing conflicts with no end in sight. The book examines the roots of these conflicts and analyses the reasons for their continuance. It goes on to assess possible outcomes for these internecine struggles, which appear to have become endemic to these countries. This work also delves into the causes of the growth of radical movements and provides insight as to why they have attracted and continue to attract support. It concludes with recommendations for resolving these conflicts, which at present appear to be permanent and intractable. The book is directed to those who have both a general and specific interest in comparative religion, recent history, international relations, Africa, and Islam.
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