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Dying for Heaven: Holy Pleasure and Suicide Bombers--Why the Best Qualities of Religion Are Also Its Most Dangerousby Ariel Glucklich
Synopses & Reviews
Why do terrorists do what they do? Not only are religiously motivated terrorists willing to self-destruct to achieve their goals, but neither threats nor incentives consistently prevent their devastating acts. Compounding this is the fact that soon extremist nations and terrorist groups in the Middle East and Asia will have nuclear weapons and may be driven by religion to use them. Is nuclear terror inevitable or can it be prevented?
Ariel Glucklich, Georgetown professor of religion and advisor to the U.S. defense community, reveals the fallacy of our country's three major assumptions about the motivations that lie behind terrorism: that religious terrorists are acting out of hatred for us, that belief in paradise is the chief factor in their willingness to die for their cause, and that religious extremism is always irrational.
The astonishing reality Glucklich reveals is that these radicals sincerely believe they are motivated by love, actually are attempting to fight internal enemies or heretics within their own societies, and desire fame and honor in the here and now, rather than a promised afterlife in heaven.
Dying for Heaven offers a groundbreaking theory of religion and religious destructiveness; the book examines the motivations fueling those who perpetrate religious violence around the globe--from Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists to violent Hindu nationalists, from Jewish-Zionist fundamentalists in Israel to leaders in Iran's race for nuclear weapons, and to Christian messianic defenders of American power. The continuing rise of religion as a global force and the proliferation of nuclear weapons create a unique challenge for policy advisors, who now must understand how far religious extremists will go toward nuclear annihilation. Dying for Heaven provides the key for understanding the religious drive to self-destruct and offers ways to combat the culture of suicide terrorism.
In Dying for Heaven, Georgetown scholar and advisor to the defense community Ariel Glucklich explains the religious motivation of terrorism. This provocative work of political science argues that the very best qualities of religion—its ability to make people feel good and bring them together—are in fact its most dangerous. Glucklich, author of Sacred Pain and Climbing Chamundi Hill, offers a new understanding of religion and provides a vision for preventing further religiously-inspired violence.
Religion and the Motivation Behind Terrorism
Dying for Heaven reveals a groundbreaking theory of religion andreligious destructiveness, providing the key for understanding thereligious drive to self-destruct, and offering a new vision forpreventing further religiously inspired violence.
About the Author
Ariel Glucklich is professor of theology at Georgetown University. He is on the steering committee of the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, which advises the defense community in Washington on the intersection of religion with contemporary global challenges. He is also the author of many books, including Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul, which won an award for excellence from the American Academy of Religion; Climbing Chamundi Hill; and The Strides of Vishnu.
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