Three Theories of Religious Activism and Violence: Social Movements, Fundamentalists, and Apocalyptic Warriors

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Authors
Gregg, Heather Selma
Subjects
apocalypse
fundamentalism
religion
social movements
terrorism
violence
Advisors
Date of Issue
2016
Date
2016
Publisher
Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Language
Abstract
Numerous scholars have investigated religiously motivated violence, particularly in the wake of September 11, including discussions on the role of modernity in triggering religious violence, the increasing presence of religion in politics, the violence-prone nature of certain religions, and religion’s correlation with ethnicity and other conflict-intensifying variables. However, religious activism and violence are not new phenomena. Few theories have been advanced that move across time and space and, broadly, seek to explain the conditions under which religion becomes involved in activism and violence. This article argues that three broad causal arguments for religious activism—social movements, fundamentalism, and apocalyptic warriors—help explain the conditions under which religiously motivated violence occurs across time and space. These three causal arguments offer a spectrum of goals within religious activism, ranging from challenging social practices and government policies, to defending specific interpretations and practices of the faith, to hastening the apocalypse. Furthermore, each of these theories proposes different ways that religion becomes involved in social, political, and religious activism and the conditions under which groups use violence to further their goals. The article concludes by suggesting countermeasures for each type of religious activism.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2014.918879
Series/Report No
Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
23 p.
Citation
Terrorism and Political Violence, 28:338–360, 2016
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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