From the Crusades of the Middle Ages to the contemporary political Islamist perpetrators of 9/11, religions have played a role in inspiring, legitimating and facilitating extremist organizations and violent conflict. And, in the contemporary world, for the first time in over a century, most of the ongoing international conflicts are religiously inflected. This special issue will attempt to explore the complex relationship between religion and the historical, cultural and political context of such organizations and conflicts. Articles will cover historical and/or contemporary examples, and might concern the principal world religions or more marginal or ephemeral religious movements. We are particularly interested in contributions that address the following questions:
what role does religion, or a religious organization, play in ethnic conflict?
what use do extremist or radical groups make of religion or religious institutions?
what is the relationship between religion and aggressive nationalism, antisemitism, racism, xenophobia or Islamophobia?
to what extent do religions rely on the construction of an unbelieving or heretical Other?
what is the relationship between national identity and religion in ethnic conflict?
what is the significance of the re-emergence of religiously inflected conflicts in the twenty-first century?
Dr Stella Rock
University of Sussex,
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QN, UK
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