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Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion After September 11, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

3.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226482033
ISBN-10: 0226482030
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"From time to time there appears a work... that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion's significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln's Holy Terrors is one such text.... Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book." - Theodore Pulcini, Middle East Journal "Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses - a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln... has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis." - Stephen Healey, Christian Century"

From the Inside Flap

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, it is tempting to regard their perpetrators as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln shows in this timely offering, were profoundly and intensely religious. What we need, then, after September 11 is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. With rigor and incisiveness, Holy Terrors examines the implications of September 11 for our understanding of religion and how it interrelates with politics and culture.

Lincoln begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder "in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate." Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush's October 7 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden's videotape released hours later. Each speech, he argues, betrays telling contradictions. Bin Laden, for instance, conceded implicitly that Islam is not unitary, as his religious rhetoric would have it, but is torn by deep political divisions. And Bush, steering clear of religious rhetoric for the sake of political unity, still reassured his constituents through coded allusions that American policy is firmly rooted in faith.

Lincoln ultimately broadens his discussion further to consider the role of religion since September 11 and how it came to be involved with such fervent acts of political revolt. In the postcolonial world, he argues, religion is widely considered the most viable and effective instrument of rebellion against economic and social injustices. It is the institution through which unified communities ensure the integrity and continuity of their culture in the wake of globalization. Brimming with insights such as these, Holy Terrors will become one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: The University Of Chicago Press; 2nd edition (June 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226482030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226482033
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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