The authors of religious scriptures had little difficulty enhancing sacred narratives with the rhetoric of violence. The phenomenon continues in the habitual linkage of violence and religion in contemporary film, music and literature. 'Holy Terror' brings together scholars of religious studies, biblical studies, film studies and sociology to examine the social function of violence in popular discourse. The book questions how violent rhetoric shapes belief and values, how audience empathy with violent protagonists can be understood, and the significance of the association of violence with particular religious groups and ideas. A range of phenomena are analysed, including terrorism in Scripture, apocalyptic texts in film and violence in sport.