Violence and Religion: Cross-Cultural Opinions and Consequences

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  • Author :R.E.S. Tanner
  • Year of Publication :2007
  • ISBN: :9788180693762
  • Language: :English
  • Binding: :Hard Bound
  • No of Pages: XIV, 370
  • Size: 23 cms
  • Categories: Sociology

About the Book :

Violence for or against those who hold a religious belief has been common enough historically but has now become commoner in Africa, Asia and Europe. The majority of this violence has been Christian with Islam less prominent but now this preponderance is seemingly reversed. Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism have been much less violent. There is always the difficulty that religion cannot be defined and religious behaviour is never isolatable from economic, social and political factors as well as psychological and ethological aspects combined with genetic issues. There is the violence done by spreading of disease by pilgrims and by the inbreeding of exclusive religious communities. This study examines violence and religion in a wider perspective than the occasions highlighted by the mass media. There is more to religious violence than killing, physical mutilation as a religious requirement, the compulsions and anxieties required by religious conformity, the domination of male interests as well as the destruction and exclusive use of materials. There is also the prevention and reduction of violence by religious people and institutions, the support of the sick, refugees, orphans and handicapped people and the protection of animals, as well as the creation of nature reserves round religious sites and as an aftermath of inter-religious fighting the reduction of population pressure on men and animals. Violence and religion combines overt regret and covert usefulness.

About Author :

Ralph Tanner has a B.Sc. and Diploma in Social Anthropology from Oxford University and a D.Phil in Law from Stockholm University. He has done fieldwork in Thailand, the Philippines, Guyana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya as well as in Britain and Eire. He was Chairman of the East African Institute of Social Research and a Lecturer in Comparative Religion in the University of London. He has published books on Murder in Uganda, Witchcraft Killings and Religious Change in Tanzania, the Roman Catholic Mass, contemporary religious change and co-authored two books on the biology of religion, two on the recreation of tribal identity and religious change and another on religion and the environment. He has written numerous articles on the social aspects of religious change, translation and language use, as well as on behavioural theories in the Journal of Modern African Studies, Africa, Journal of Social Sciences, Nordic Journal of African Studies, Anthropos and Studia Missionalia and others. He is currently working on the issues involved in social science fieldwork in developing societies by nationals and non-nationals and the connections between spirituality, well-being and health.