Religion, reason and war: a study in the ideological sources of political intolerance and bellicosity

Naser, Samir (2015). Religion, reason and war: a study in the ideological sources of political intolerance and bellicosity. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The thesis critically examines the view that associates religion with bellicosity in politics. It is argued that the structural link between religion and the propensity to (political) violence is inaccurate because (1) religious theories of just war can be shown to be tolerant of difference in important instances and thus not belligerent; (2) secular ideology can be shown to be intolerant and bellicose in important cases; and consequently (3) the more important explanatory factor of bellicosity is not necessarily religion but it can be found elsewhere. It is argued that the true source lies in the association of a monistic ideological commitment and the willingness of its political agents to impose it on those with different ideological views.

The thesis is a critical and comparative discussion of those who have dealt with ideological violence. It compares interventionist theorists with those who are not in religious tradition and contemporary theory of just war to reveal that the cause of violence is located in an avoidable failure to reconcile religious morality and politics.

The thesis adds a new perspective on the debate, calling for a rethink of the relationship between religion and violence in politics. It also proposes greater scepticism about widely held assumptions about the bellicose tendency of religiously motivated political agents, arguing that theorists should rethink the real cause of bellicosity beyond the religious domain and pay closer critical attention to the sources of the belligerence of secular agents.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JX International law


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