What do academicians have to say about terrorism and the role of God in it?
Mark Juergensmeyer questions the role of God in his book “Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence”. The author obviously does not answer this question, but the task gives him the opportunity to study what in the world’s great religions is the reason for violence. Juergensmeyer does not want to call these groups “fundamentalists” because their religion is not different from the normative center of confessed faith. What causes religious people to turn into terrorists from al-Qaeda, Hamas, Christian Identity in the US, etc. are their specific way of understanding religious teachings in the light of the political and social situation they are in. Juergensmeyer claims that it is more about the image of the world and cultural context than religious. Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremists – as well as fanatical Sikhs, or Japanese members of Aum Shinrikyo – are ready to use terror, unite hatred for secular society. Western democracies with their liberal rights are enemies of religion in their eyes. In a sense, they are right. Contemporary secular society limits the role of religion, not only as an institution but also as a dominant source of societal values. Religion is shifted to the sphere of privacy: freedom of religion, as well as freedom from religion, is part of the social contract.