By Thomas Block

This unsettling e-book studies particular cases of 'holy battle' as proposed within the holy books of the key religion traditions, and illustrates how bellicose, war-like language is used to provide an explanation for the non secular quest. the writer proposes that this intermingling of struggle and spirituality prepares the inhabitants for the arriving of conflict. battle as non secular perform seems inevitable, because of this religio-violent schooling that's woven via all religion traditions. The institutional mixing of the sacred and human aggression seem to be basic to human society.

The moment portion of the e-book particularizes this dynamic inside our modern, American social and political milieu. It concentrates at the political language and speeches of yankee politicians considering 2002, following the run-up to the Iraq battle and its continuation over the last decade, exhibiting precisely how this mystical/war conflation permeates American society.

This booklet has huge power readership, together with teachers and lay readers concerned about the fields of battle, political technology, peace and clash answer, faith, spirituality and basic social history.

Students from West element to St. John's of Annapolis will locate it demanding and informative, maybe altering their perception of struggle, faith and human society.

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Additional resources for A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God

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Zeus had had to win his power through struggle and defend it against revolt . . once Zeus had come of age, he led the gods in war against the Titans: sky, earth, sea and underworld were all convulsed in battle, but Zeus emerged victorious. 100 He was hardly the only war-like figure in the Greek pantheon. The ideal of temporal, human war became attached to a specific god, Ares, whose aggression was considered sacred. What’s more, violence in war led to the “altered states of the battlefield,”101 a concept which still in35 A Fatal Addiction: War in the Name of God forms the contemporary warrior’s mythical love of war.

It is, for men, at some terrible level, the closest thing to what childbirth is for women: the initiation into the power of life and death. It is like lifting off the corner of the universe and looking at what’s underneath. 49 This is the most disturbing and confusing aspect of war: the manner in which it entices. How it satisfies so much of what we, as humans, need. In giving the “moral justification to acts of violence,”50 acts impossible to undertake in the home society become commonplace. It is a freedom that somehow both liberates and enslaves, and brings one closest to life as death is all around.

That state of the soul in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror . . 57 James Hillman echoed this sentiment, applying it directly to war: What is this euphonic simplification that war seems to offer? Is it because human responsibility has been surpassed and we have entered the sublime and are closer to the gods, and therefore beyond any considerations of good and evil? No need to consider anything except action . . 58 And American General George Patton (d. 1945) concurred, from firsthand experience: Despite the impossibility of physically detecting the soul, its existence is proven by its tangible reflection in acts and thoughts.

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