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Terror in the Mind of God, Fourth Edition

The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society #13)

Mark Juergensmeyer


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Why would anybody believe that God could sanction terrorism? Why has the rediscovery of religion’s power in recent years manifested in such a bloody way? What, if anything, can be done about it?
Terror in the Mind of God, now in its fourth edition, answers these questions and more. Thoroughly revised and expanded, the book analyzes in detail terrorism related to almost all the world’s major religious traditions: European Christians who oppose Muslim immigrants; American Christians who support abortion clinic bombings and militia actions; Muslims in the Middle East associated with the rise of ISIS, al Qaeda, and Hamas; Israeli Jews who support the persecution of Palestinians; India's Hindus linked to assaults on Muslims in the state of Gujarat and Sikhs identified with the assassination of Indira Gandhi; and Buddhist militants in Myanmar affiliated with anti-Muslim violence and in Japan with the nerve gas attack in Tokyo’s subway.
Drawing from extensive personal interviews, Mark Juergensmeyer takes readers into the mindset of those who perpetrate and support violence in the name of religion. Identifying patterns within these cultures of violence, he explains why and how religion and violence are linked and how acts of religious terrorism are undertaken not only for strategic reasons but to accomplish a symbolic purpose. Terror in the Mind of God continues to be an indispensible resource for students of religion and modern society.

Praise For Terror in the Mind of God, Fourth Edition: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society #13)

"This dark, enthralling book not only documents the global rise of religious terrorism but seeks to understand the 'odd attraction of religion and violence.' Starred Review."

— Publishers Weekly

"Juergensmeyer's work is a sensitive, comparative study of terrorist movements and the religious beliefs that motivate them."

— Washington Post

"An unsettling book but also a courageous one. No one who truly cares about matters of faith can afford to ignore the dangers that lurk within religious extremism, and Juergensmeyer ultimately serves the highest aspirations of organized religion when he insists on shedding light on the darker corners of human belief and human conduct."

— Los Angeles Times

"The fourth edition of Mark Juergensmeyer’s ground-breaking book testifies to the ongoing relevance of its subject matter and to the value of its author’s insights. . . .Terror in the Mind of God was a good book to begin with; it is a better, more current, book thanks to the additions made in this fourth edition."

— Nova Religio

Terror in the Mind of God is written in an engaging style and is clearly directed towards a popular audience. . . . [it] will no doubt continue to garner the attention of those interested in gaining a deeper knowledge of religious violence.”

— Patterns of Prejudice

"Juergensmeyer should be commended for his judicious yet very insightful treatment of different religious groups. . . . a solid piece of scholarship; all would benefit from reading it."

— Millennium: Journal of International Studies

"The book was published in 2000 and might never have circulated much beyond academic libraries, but was rushed into paperback with a new preface in the autumn of 2001. Yet not only was it carefully prepared when few were paying attention, the book stands out because the author presents traditional, well-informed terrorist studies in an unusual way. He interviews terrorists. . . . [the book] belongs in even the smallest collection on terrorism."

— Journal of Conflict Studies

University of California Press, 9780520291355, 408pp.

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

About the Author

Mark Juergensmeyer is Professor of Sociology and Global Studies and Founding Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.