Essay on Religions and War

Essay on Religions and War

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1. Introduction: Religions and the Holy Texts
"Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians...and (all) who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."1
How true is this statement and to what extent do religions not fight each other?
Unfortunately, looking back at the holy texts of various religions provides no answers. There are elements and contexts in all of them, which can be correlated with both tolerance and intolerance, indeed contradictory and confusing. Not to forget that those texts are usually abstract, vague, and implicit with ambiguity and every translation is an interpretation itself. As much as the above quotation appeals to me, as much as I wanted to emphasize it and make it the representative of the religion, the content of the Quran itself is not sufficiently consistent for me to do so. Frustrated or self-righteous extremist might be able to find some appear-to-be aggressive passages. The same apply to the other holy texts."The problem is that picking the violent passages as the true representation of a religion is just as much a theological judgment as picking the peaceful ones. There's really very little difference in the justification for picking one passage over another."2 In short, it is all about interpretation. So, perhaps the more important and practical question is, how has human being interpreted their respective sacred religions so far throughout the history? What have they done in the name of religions?
2. Historical ‘Religious Wars’
The emergence of Islam in the 7th century represents the new page in history in which the world is no long...


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... Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans, New York: Continuum.
13. Powers, G. (1996) Religion, Conflict and Prospects for Peace in Bosnia, Croatia and Yugoslavia. Journal of International Affairs, vol. 50, Summer 1996, no. 1
14. Ranger, T. (1986) Religious movements and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, African Studies Review, 39(2), pp. 1-70
15. Ranstorp, M. (1996) Terrorism in the name of religion. Journal of International Affairs, New York: Summer 1996.Vol. 50, Iss. 1; pg. 41-50
16. Stewart, F. (2009) Religion versus Ethnicity as a Source of Mobilisation: Are There Differences? MICROCON Research Working Paper 18, Brighton: MICROCON.
17. The Quran, translated by Ali, Y.
18. The New Testament
19. The Old Testament
20. Wilkinson, D. (1980) Deadly Quarrels: Lewis F. Richardson and the Statistical Study of War,Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

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