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A perennial frontier for Islamic orthodoxy, Bangladesh is witnessing an alarming rise in Islamist-inspired assassinations and terrorist attacks. In July 2016, the world's attention fell upon a cafe in a leafy Dhaka neighbourhood as the barbarity of a distant 'Caliphate' was visited on this corner of South Asia. Twenty-nine died in the assault on the Holey Bakery, affixing an unbidden nightmare to the image of a supposedly tolerant Muslim nation. Joseph Allchin probes Bangladesh's recent and distant past as he investigates how it has become the latest front in world extremism. Delving into the local and global differences between political actors, he exposes the continued influence of the country's independence struggle on today's allegiances, and scrutinises the careers of two long-term rivals: current prime minister Sheikh Hasina, and Khaleda Zia, who held the office in 1991-6 and 2001-6. This unerring investigation examines the relationship between radical Islam and the Bangladeshi political class, laying bare the extremist forces that bedevil the country's present and future.
Branded as "the new Falun Gong" by local authorities, The Church of Almighty God is the most persecuted religious movement in China today. Thousands of police officers are deployed full time to identify and arrest its members. Hundreds of thousands of its devotees are in jail. Authorities claim, perhaps hyperbolically, that it has some four million members and accuse the group of serious crimes. Yet, the movement continues to grow. In this ground-breaking study, Massimo Introvigne offers an inside look at this once-elusive movement, sharing interviews with hundreds of members and the Chinese police officers who hunt them down. The story of The Church of Almighty God is one of rapid growth, dramatic persecution, and the struggle of believers to seek asylum in countries around the world. In his telling of the story, Introvigne reconstructs the Church's idiosyncratic theology, centered in the belief that Jesus Christ has returned in our time in the shape of a Chinese woman, worshipped as Almighty God, to eradicate the sinful nature of humans, and that we have entered the third and final time period in the history of humanity: the Age of Kingdom. A major book from one of the world's leading scholars of new religious movements, Inside The Church of Almighty God is a critical addition to the scholarship of Chinese religion.
Between 1554 and 1570, the Genevan printer Jean Crespin compiled seven French-language editions of his martyrology. In The Construction of Reformed Identity in Jean Crespin's Livre des Martyrs, Jameson Tucker explores how this martyrology helped to shape a distinct Reformed identity for its Protestant readership, with a particular interest in the stranger groups that Crespin included within his Livre des Martyrs. By comparing each edition of the Livre des Martyrs, this book examines Crespin's editorial processes and considers the impact that he intended his work to have on his readers. Through this, it provides a window into the Reformed Church and its members during the outbreak of the French Wars of Religion. This is the first volume to comparatively study all seven French-language editions of Crespin's Livre des Martyrs and will be essential reading for all scholars of the Reformation and early modern France.
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. -- .
Punjab, Pakistan, June 2009. The temperature is 45 Degrees and Asia has been out picking fruit for several hours. It's exhausting, sweaty work, but Asia and her husband have five children to feed. At midday she goes to the nearest well, picks up a cup and takes a long drink of cool water. She refills the cup, drinks some more and then offers it to another woman. Suddenly one of her fellow workers cries out that the water belongs to the Muslim women and that with her actions, Asia - who is Christian - has contaminated it. An argument ignites and in an instant, with one word, Asia's fate is sealed. 'Blasphemy!' someone shouts. In Pakistan this is a charge punishable by death. First attacked by a mob, Asia was soon after thrown into prison and then sentenced to be hanged. Since then she has been kept in a windowless cell. Her family have had to flee their village, under threat from vengeful extremists. In the wave of accusation that followed, only two public figures came to Asia's defence: the Muslim governor of the Punjab and Pakistan's Christian Minister for Minorities. Both have since been brutally murdered. Here, in equal measures shocking and inspiring, Asia Bibi, who has become a symbol for everyone concerned with ending the violence committed in the name of religion, bravely speaks to us from her prison cell.
An urgent Penguin Special investigating the 2014 mass-kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by the world's deadliest terrorists On 14th April 2014, 276 girls disappeared from a secondary school in northern Nigeria, kidnapped by the world's deadliest terror group. A tiny number have escaped back to their families but many remain missing. Reporting from inside the traumatised and blockaded community of Chibok, Helon Habila tracks down the survivors and the bereaved. Two years after the attack, he bears witness to their stories and to their grief. And moving from the personal to the political, he presents a comprehensive indictment of Boko Haram, tracing the circumstances of their ascent and the terrible fallout of their ongoing presence in Nigeria.
Since September 11, 2001, America has been at war. And that's about all anyone can say with certainty about a conflict that has cost 7,000 American lives and almost $2 trillion. As long as the most basic strategic questions-Who is the enemy? Why are we fighting?-remain unanswered, victory is impossible. Yet this war is eminently winnable if we remove our ideological blinders, accurately name our enemy, and draw up a strategy to defeat him. So says Dr. Sebastian Gorka, one of the most experienced and sought-after authorities on counterterrorism. Our enemy is not "terror" or "violent extremism." Our enemy is the global jihadi movement, a modern totalitarian ideology rooted in the doctrines and martial history of Islam. Taking his cue from the formerly top-secret analyses that shaped the U.S. response to the communist threat, Dr. Gorka has produced a compelling profile of the jihadi movement-its mind and motivation-and a plan to defeat it.
Established in Peru in 1570, the Holy Office of the Inquisition operated there until 1820, prosecuting, torturing, and sentencing alleged heretics. Ana Schaposchnik offers a deeply researched history of the Inquisition's tribunal in the capital city of Lima, with a focus on cases of crypto-Judaism-the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing Christianity. Delving into the records of the tribunal, Schaposchnik brings to light the experiences of individuals on both sides of the process. Some prisoners, she discovers, developed a limited degree of agency as they managed to stall trials or mitigate the most extreme punishments. Training her attention on the accusers, Schaposchnik uncovers the agendas of specific inquisitors in bringing the condemned from the dungeons to the 1639 Auto General de Fe ceremony of public penance and execution. Through this fine-grained study of the tribunal's participants, Schaposchnik finds that the Inquisition sought to discipline and shape culture not so much through frequency of trials or number of sentences as through the potency of individual examples.
The years of the Spanish Civil War filled twentieth-century Spain with hope, frustration and drama. Not only did it pit countryman against countryman, and neighbour against neighbour, but from 1936-39 this bitterly contended struggle sucked in competing and seemingly atavistic forces that were soon to rage across the face of Europe, and then the rest of the world: nationalism and republicanism; communism and fascism; anarchism and monarchism; anti-clerical reformism and aristocratic Catholic conservatism. The 'Guerra Civil' is of enduring interest precisely because it represents much more than just a regional contest for power and governmental legitimacy. It has come to be seen as a seedbed for the titanic political struggles and larger social upheavals that scarred the entire twentieth century. In elegant and accessible prose, Julian Casanova tells the gripping story of these years of anguish and trauma, which hit the country with a force hitherto unknown at any time in Spain's history. Charting the most significant events and battles alongside the main players in the tragedy, he provides answers to some of the pressing questions (such as the roots and extent of anticlerical violence) that have been asked in the seventy years that have passed since the painful defeat of the Second Republic.
The phrase "The Black Legend" was coined in 1912 by a Spanish
journalist in protest of the characterization of Spain by other
Europeans as a backward country defined by ignorance, superstition,
and religious fanaticism, whose history could never recover from
the black mark of its violent conquest of the Americas. Challenging
this stereotype, "Rereading the Black Legend" contextualizes
Spain's uniquely tarnished reputation by exposing the colonial
efforts of other nations whose interests were served by propagating
the "Black Legend."
Between 1850 and 1966, tens of thousands of Buddhist sacred sites in China were destroyed, victims of targeted destruction, accidental damage, or simply neglect. During the same period, however, many of these sites were reconstructed, a process that involved both rebuilding material structures and reviving religious communities. The conventionally accepted narrative of Chinese Buddhism during the modern era is that it underwent a revival initiated by innovative monastics and laypersons, leaders who reinvented Buddhist traditions to meet the challenges of modernity. Gregory Adam Scott shows, however, that over time it became increasingly difficult for reconstruction leaders to resist the interests of state actors, who sought to refashion monastery sites as cultural monuments rather than as living religious communities. These sites were then intended to serve as symbols of Chinese history and cultural heritage, while their function as a frame for religious life was increasingly pushed aside. As a result, the power to determine whether and how a monastery would be reconstructed, and the types of activities that would be reinstated or newly introduced, began to shift from religious leaders and communities to state agencies that had a radically different set of motivations and values. Building the Buddhist Revival explores the history of Chinese Buddhist monastery reconstruction from the end of the Imperial period through the first seventeen years of the People's Republic. Over this century of history, the nature and significance of reconstructing Buddhist monasteries changes drastically, mirroring broader changes in Chinese society. Yet this book argues that change has always been in the nature of religious communities such as Buddhist monasteries, and that reconstruction, rather than a return to the past, represents innovative and adaptive change. In this way, it helps us understand the broader significance of the Buddhist "revival" in China during this era, as a creative reconstruction of religion upon longstanding foundations.
In 1095 Pope Urban II granted absolution to anyone who would fight to reclaim the Holy Land. With God at their backs, the first Christian crusaders embarked on an unprecedented religious war. While addressing the contribution of flamboyant characters like Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, Malcolm Billings also looks at the experiences of the peasants, knights and fighting monks who took the cross for Christendom and the Holy Warriors of Islam who, after battle on battle, emerged victorious. He analyses the ebb and flow of crusade and counter-crusade and details the shifting structures of government in the Levant, which became the perennial battleground of East and West.
Amidst successive episodes of interreligious violence in Myanmar between 2012 and 2014, interfaith dialogue emerged as a crucial conflict resolution and prevention mechanism. The 2011-16 Union Solidarity and Development Party administration often indirectly promoted the use of interfaith dialogue to defuse interreligious tensions and conflicts, though its political will was questionable. Various governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental actors have engaged in interfaith dialogue, peace, and harmony initiatives in the past seven years. The present National League for Democracy administration has more actively sought to engage in intrafaith promotion of Buddhism and in interfaith peace and harmony initiatives. Intergovernmental, international and local interfaith actors also work in the interfaith dialogue field, but their impact is relatively weak because the government remains the most important actor in Myanmar in transition. Although the National League for Democracy has largely eliminated Buddhist nationalist groups such as Ma Ba Tha, Buddhist identity politics remains influential after the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army's attacks in Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017 and the consequent refugee crisis.
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.
Why and how does religion fuel fighting, death and destruction? This is the central question in Michael Jordan's powerful new book. From jihads and crusades to individual acts of violence, religion can be a force and excuse for terrible acts. Michael Jordan examines the history of religious violence and at the relationship between religion and politics.
Given the extremely high cost of overseas military operations today, the author offers readers scholarly insights as to what motivates kingdoms, countries, and groups to engage in religious conflict, beginning with those found in the Hebrew Bible. To do this, he analyzes three related religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, to determine their similarities and differences regarding the killing of people. The areas of conflict analysis include Fundamentalism, Proselytization, Sacrifice (to include martyrdom), and Revenge (to include genocide). The insights of preeminent religious and political scholars are integrated into this comprehensive analysis of conflict involving religion, leading to an answer to the ultimate question: Is the killing worth it?
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.
The twelve complete articles in this volume represent some of the
best recent scholarship on the crusades. The collection introduces
students to fundamental concepts of crusading, including the nature
of the movement, the motivation of the participants, and the impact
on the East. The focus is not on individual crusades but on the
political, economic, spiritual, and demographic factors behind
these medieval holy wars and on their consequences.
A strong editorial structure guides students through the competing perspectives that have dominated scholarly discussion. An opening introduction summarizes relevant historical events and provides an overview of the historiography. Each article is then contextualized by the editor with a discussion of its significance to scholarship.
Early medieval Ireland is remembered as the "Land of Saints and Scholars," due to the distinctive devotion to Christian faith and learning that permeated its culture. As early as the seventh century, however, questions were raised about Irish orthodoxy, primarily concerning Easter observances. Yet heresy trials did not occur in Ireland until significantly later, long after allegations of Irish apostasy from Christianity had sanctioned the English invasion of Ireland. In The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish, Maeve Brigid Callan analyzes Ireland's medieval heresy trials, which all occurred in the volatile fourteenth century. These include the celebrated case of Alice Kyteler and her associates, prosecuted by Richard de Ledrede, bishop of Ossory, in 1324. This trial marks the dawn of the devil-worshipping witch in European prosecutions, with Ireland an unexpected birthplace.
Callan divides Ireland s heresy trials into three categories. In the first stand those of the Templars and Philip de Braybrook, whose trial derived from the Templars, brought by their inquisitor against an old rival. Ledrede s prosecutions, against Kyteler and other prominent Anglo-Irish colonists, constitute the second category. The trials of native Irishmen who fell victim to the sort of propaganda that justified the twelfth-century invasion and subsequent colonization of Ireland make up the third. Callan contends that Ireland s trials resulted more from feuds than doctrinal deviance and reveal the range of relations between the English, the Irish, and the Anglo-Irish, and the church s role in these relations; tensions within ecclesiastical hierarchy and between secular and spiritual authority; Ireland s position within its broader European context; and political, cultural, ethnic, and gender concerns in the colony."
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. -- .
Following the enormous success of the 2009, 2011 and 2013 occasions of the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong, the "International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong 2015" (IPNH K2015) will be held in November 2015. The Organizing Committee of IPNH K2015 will continue to accomplish the mission of making literature a more prominent part of daily life in Hong Kong, by organizing more literary activities such as this biennial event. IPNH K2015 brings together internationally renowned poets from different partsof the world to create opportunities for college and high-school students, as well as for local writers and the public to meet the invited poets through IPNH K2015 activities, broaden their horizon in the reading of world poetry, and be aspired by the writing of their local environment. IPNH K2015 also seeks to foster close collaboration with institutions of tertiary and secondary education, connecting higher education with the public at large for the sake of knowledge transfer. The theme of IPNH K2015 is "Poetry and Conflict," which explores the multi-layered relationships between poetry and war. Poetry has been generally recognized as the highest form of language, while war inflicts the most pains on human history. IPNH K2015 invites world-acclaimed poets from war-troubled countries in the past such as the United States (Anne Waldman, Peter Cole), Japan (Tawada Yoko, Mizuta Noriko), South Korea (Kim Hye-soon), Macedonia (Nikola Madzirov), Catalonia (Gemma Gorga), Portugal (Fernando Pinto do Amaral), Burma (ko ko thett), Morroco (Mohammed Bennis), Mainland China (Wang Xiaoni), Taiwan (Chen Li), Hong Kong (Yin Jiang), and those of today such as Israel (Agi Mishol) and Palestine (Ghassan Zaqtan, Najwan Darwish). These poets, who engage their works with "war" as a topic, are going to exchange views and explore the many layers where equanimous poetry is able to play its role in the most violent events in human history, and in so doing, encourage writers and readers of war-free Hong Kong to reflect upon the local milieu in a global framework.
2009 brought the end of the protracted civil war in Sri Lanka, and observers hoped to see the re-establishment of harmonious religious and ethnic relations among the various communities in the country. Immediately following the war's end, however, almost 300,000 Tamil people in the Northern Province were detained for up to a year's time in hurriedly constructed camps where they were closely scrutinized by military investigators to determine whether they might pose a threat to the country. While almost all had been released and resettled by 2011, the current government has not introduced, nor even seriously entertained, any significant measures of power devolution that might create meaningful degrees of autonomy in the regions that remain dominated by Tamil peoples. The Sri Lankan government has grown increasingly autocratic, attempting to assert its control over the local media and non-governmental organizations while at the same time reorienting its foreign policy away from the US, UK, EU, and Japan, to an orbit that now includes China, Burma, Russia and Iran. At the same time, hardline right-wing groups of Sinhala Buddhists have propagated-arguably with the government's tacit approval-the idea of an international conspiracy designed to destabilize Sri Lanka. The local targets of these extremist groups, the so-called fronts of this alleged conspiracy, have been identified as Christians and Muslims. Many Christian churches have suffered numerous attacks at the hands of Buddhist extremists, but the Muslim community has borne the brunt of the suffering. Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities presents a collection of essays that investigate the history and current conditions of Buddhist-Muslim relations in Sri Lanka in an attempt to ascertain the causes of the present conflict. Readers unfamiliar with this story will be surprised to learn that it inverts common stereotypes of the two religious groups. In this context, certain groups of Buddhists, generally regarded as peace-oriented , are engaged in victimizing Muslims, who are increasingly regarded as militant , in unwarranted and irreligious ways. The essays reveal that the motivations for these attacks often stem from deep-seated economic disparity, but the contributors also argue that elements of religious culture have served as catalysts for the explosive violence. This is a much-needed, timely commentary that can potentially shift the standard narrative on Muslims and religious violence.
Space is dynamic, political and a cause of conflict. It bears the weight of human dreams and fears. Conflict is caused not only by spatial exclusivism but also by an inclusivism that seeks harmony through subordinating the particularity of the Other to the world view of the majority. This book uses the lens of space to examine inter-religious and inter-communal conflict in colonial and post-colonial Sri Lanka, demonstrating that the colonial can shed light on the post-colonial, particularly on post-war developments, post-May 2009, when Buddhist symbolism was controversially developed in the former, largely non-Buddhist, war zones. Using the concepts of exclusivism and inclusivist subordination, the book analyses the different imaginaries or world views that were present in colonial and post-1948 Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the ethnic or religious Other, and how these were expressed in space, influenced one another and engendered conflict. The book's use of insights from human geography, peace studies and secular iterations of the theology of religions breaks new ground, as does its narrative technique, which prioritizes voices from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the author's fieldwork and personal observation in the twenty first. Through utilizing past and contemporary reflections on lived experience, informed by diverse religious world views, the book offers new insights into Sri Lanka's past and present. It will be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience in the fields of colonial and postcolonial studies; war and peace studies; security studies; religious studies; the study of religion; Buddhist Studies, mission studies, South Asian and Sri Lankan studies.
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