In the Name of God: Violence and Destructions in the World's Religions

Why and how does religion fuel fighting, death and destruction? This is the central question in Michael Jordan's powerful new book. It has long been recognised that religion has the power to transform our vision of human potential and it has often provided the spark for a push in one direction or another. It would be comforting to imagine that such transformation is always for the good. But the powerful influence of religion and the passionate intensity with which religious beliefs are held has meant, and still means, that believers are willing to kill and be killed in defence of their creed. In its most unbending form this conviction can take the form of full-scale religious war in the case of a crusade or jihad, but can also encompass individual acts of violence. These acts are always committed in the name of god. This book examines the history of religious violence, looking at patterns and causes, consistencies and aberrations. It looks at the relationship between religion and politics and puts the violence into the context of religion and the religion into the context of human history.