In the Name of Identity
Violence and the Need to Belong
Publication Date: September 2001
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The notion of identity -- personal, religious, ethnic, or national -- has given rise to heated passions and crimes throughout history. What makes each one of us unique has been a fundamental question of philosophy from Socrates to Freud. This book argues that the concept of identity that prevails the world over is still very much tribal. It allows men of all countries, conditions, and faiths to be transformed into butchers and fanatics, passing themselves off as defenders of a given identity. Maalouf contends that many of us would reject our inherited conceptions of identity, which we cling to through habit, if only we examined them more closely. The future of society depends on accepting -- while recognizing our uniqueness -- all identities.