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xiv + 157 pp.

£35 / $70 / €52.50
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£14.50 / $22.50 / €16.50

Religion and Violence
The Biblical Heritage
Edited by David A. Bernat, Jonathan Klawans

Violence that is motivated by--and justified by--religious ideas, authorities and texts is everywhere around us. Some say that the origins of religion and human violence are inherently connected, and that the explanation for religious violence lies at the heart of the religious imagination itself, others that human violence was there long before religion ever came about, being no more than an unfortunate by-product of human evolution. Reconsidering the question of religion and violence in the biblical heritage is a narrower--but nonetheless essential--endeavour, to which the present volume addresses itself.

After an introductory chapter by the editors on religion, violence and the Bible, Ziony Zevit writes on violence in Israelite culture and in the Bible, Tamar Kamionkowski on violence in prophetic literature, Stephen Geller on the prophetic roots of religious violence, David Wright on homicide, talion and vengeance in the Covenant Code, Lawrence Wills on the death of the hero and the violent death of Jesus, Jennifer Wright Knust on sacrifice and sacred text in Justin, and David Frankfurter on vengeance fantasies in the New Testament. Stephen Marini offers concluding reflections on religion and violence under the rubric of conflict, subversion and sacrifice.

David A. Bernat is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Jonathan Klawans is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University.

Series: Recent Research in Biblical Studies, 2
978-1-906055-32-5 hardback / 978-1-909697-92-8 paperback
Publication December 2007

Jonathan Klawans, with Contributions by David Bernat
Introduction: Religion, Violence and the Bible

1. Ziony Zevit, University of Judaism
The Search for Violence in Israelite Culture and in the Bible

2. S. Tamar Kamionkowski, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
The “Problem” of Violence in Prophetic Literature

3. Stephen A. Geller, Jewish Theological Seminary
The Prophetic Roots of Religious Violence in Western Religions

4. David P. Wright, Brandeis University
Homicide, Talion, Vengeance, and Psycho-Economic Satisfaction in the Covenant Code

5. Lawrence M. Wills, Episcopal Divinity School
The Death of the Hero and the Violent Death of Jesus

6. Jennifer Wright Knust, Boston University
Roasting the Lamb: Sacrifice and Sacred Text in Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho

7. David Frankfurter, University of New Hampshire
The Legacy of Sectarian Rage: Vengeance Fantasies in the New Testament

Stephen Marini, Wellesley College
Concluding Reflections on Religion and Violence: Conflict, Subversion, and Sacrifice