Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September 11, 2nd Edition
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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars7
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on July 2, 2009
This is a wonderful little book that presents a thoughtful and provocative analysis of religion in the contemporary world. One of the writers who posted a review of this book on the Amazon site asserted that Lincoln argues that the rhetoric used by the leaders of Al-Qaeda and the leaders of the United States of America is quite similar. It seems to me that Lincoln actually takes great pains to point out the differences between the rhetoric used by the leaders of Al-Qaeda and the rhetoric used by the leaders of the United States of America.
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on March 14, 2015
Bruce Lincoln successfully distinguishes between the important aspects of religion, and applies them succinctly. In particular, the first and last chapters, the first detailing religion more generally and the last detailing religion's role in violence, were the most interesting.
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on October 17, 2013
A great deal of the book requires a university education in theology to understand it. Otherwise a thoughtful presentation. II recommend it
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on November 5, 2006
Lincoln's work is an attempt to formulate a theory of religion. While his success on that front is open to criticism, he gives an impeccable presentation of the religious dimensions of the American/Arab/Christian/Muslim/politics debate. Anyone who wants to hone their understanding of 80% of front page news should read this. Besides it gives documented proof of why Falwell and Robertson should not be listened to...ever...about anything.
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on November 30, 2003
This is a difficult book to read because it is suffused with academic references and needlessly complex phrases and jargon. For example, "... a more lattitudinarian position verging even upon antinomianism." (p.84), "... the Manchester school of social antrhopology, and such French semiologists Roland Barthes." (p.78), "These are meant as Weberian ideal-types ..." (p.59). In short, the book targets an academic audience, IMO - not a lay audience.

The author deconstructs speeches of George Bush and Osama bin Laden. The author tries to show that both Bush and bin Laden use the same essential religious themes and rhetorical devices to motivate and sway their target audiences ("Symmetric Dualisms"). IMO, this is sophistry; the same analytical technique could be applied to, say, Churchill and Hitler or Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.

The primary redeeming qualities of the book are brief treatments of Sayyid Qutb and Mohammad Atta, and an even briefer treatment of the insanity following the French Revolution (e.g., "The Cult of Reason").

For the layperson, instead of this book I recommend Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, 3rd Edition (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society, Vol. 13) by Mark Juergensmeyer. It is far more accessible, and IMO, it provides a much more useful analysis and a broader survey. If you're looking to learn more about Sayyid Qutb and his influence on Islamic radicals, turn to Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman.
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on July 8, 2008
I noticed Lincoln's book only because of the similarity of it's title to that of a biography of Andy Wharhol that I read some time ago. Sadly, the book is the perfect example of the contemporary academic practice of working backward from a socio-anthropological conclusion to a tendentious definition that can only lead the innocent reader to buy into the author's political prejudices. Readers wishing an objective analysis of the comparative social functionality of Islam and Christianity should read the Epilog to Anthony Pagden's Peoples and Empires.
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on December 9, 2010
The book provides many historical inaccuracies about some religions, and the author seems very unscrupulous about the source of information he uses. I have been a fool to buy the book, and I hope you would not follow my suit.
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