Does religion cause terrorism? The problem of religion and the need for a better question: a response to Mark Juergensmeyer

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It would be hard not to agree with most of what Professor Juergensmeyer has said in his contribution, not least because, unlike many who write on the subject of religion and terrorism, he has spent much of his professional life talking to religious terrorists, rather than solely talking about them. And his nuanced conclusion, that religion is neither the cause nor the victim of terrorism, is a difficult one from which to dissent. Many critics of religion, and its apologists, have added little to our understanding by treating the question as though it can only be answered by “yes” or “no”. It is also extremely helpful to be reminded by Juergensmeyer of the variety of ways that religion and violence may be related, and the mixed motivations of religious terrorists, but above all, of his own definitive contribution to the subject, his notion of 'cosmic war', something that has, over the years, proven its explanatory value.

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Contemporary Voices: St Andrews Journal of International Relations
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