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Religion and Extremism: Rejecting Diversity (Hardback)
  • Religion and Extremism: Rejecting Diversity (Hardback)
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Religion and Extremism: Rejecting Diversity (Hardback)

(author)
£65.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 14/12/2017
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Focusing on the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Douglas Pratt argues that despite a popular focus on Islam, extremist Jews and Christians can also enact terror and destruction. Religion and Extremism stresses that the ideological rejection of diversity underlies religious extremism resulting in violent behaviours and, increasingly, in hardening social and religious attitudes and responses. An analysis of religiously-driven terrorism reveals the presence of a distinctive and rigid form of exclusivity found in these religions. In this regard, the contemporary resurgence in totalising claims of fundamentalist ideologues is cause for particular concern. Pratt reasons that however expressed, the motif of the `Absolute' is central to all, but how that absolute is and has been received, interpreted and responded to, is a matter of great diversity. The author asserts that theological `Absolutism' displays an underlying dynamic whereby these three religions may be led into extremism. Religion and Extremism also explores contemporary issues of Islamophobia and mutual extremism, identified as `reactive co-radicalization', and concludes by reflecting on how extremism today might be countered.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781474292252
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 467 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Douglas Pratt's book Religion and Extremism cannot come at a more opportune time. Through a painstaking historical analysis Pratt demonstrates beyond doubt that all religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have had a violent past and path, whether one thinks that violence is inherent in religion, or religion has a violent core, or religion, though peaceful, can be instrumentalized as a violent means to achieve secular goals. Pratt forces adherents of all religions humbly to acknowledge this sad fact; like an addict who cannot be healed unless he or she recognizes his or her addiction, so believers cannot work for peace unless they first confess their addiction to violence. This is Pratt's uplifting message that we all need to hear. * Peter C. Phan, The Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University, USA *
Alarmed by violent terror in the name of religion the public, media and politicians easily get lost in the terminological morass of "radicalisation", "fundamentalism" and "extremism". Douglas Pratt's book provides a necessary, rigorous and accessible interrogation of these concepts and, by identifying a "religious absolutism" which leaves no space for theological or social diversity, he makes a distinctive contribution to debates at the crossroads of theology, sociology and political science. * Paul Weller, Professor in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK *
Conceptually strong, and rich in examples, Pratt's book is an approachable, innovative, sophisticated analysis of contemporary religion, extremism and violence. Arguing persuasively and insightfully that extremism arises from, and can generate deadly consequences when religious exclusivists reject religious and political pluralism, and that radicalisation is a reciprocal, interactive process, Pratt shows that violence indeed begets violence. It deserves to be widely read, cited and included on many syllabi. * Peter Lentini, Founding Director at Global Terrorism Research Centre (GTReC), Monash University, Australia *
This thorough, thoughtful study carefully distinguishes various forms of religious fundamentalism and extremism in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Warning that fear of diversity can lead through reactive co-radicalization to extremist ideologies that legitimate violence, Pratt calls for a religious renewal that affirms each tradition's unique identity while affirming and accepting religious diversity in respectful dialogue. Highly recommended. * Leo D. Lefebure, Matteo Ricci, S.J. Professor of Theology, Georgetown University, USA *

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