Essay It Religion Self

Essay It Religion Self-15
Particularly valuable in the introduction is Kitts’s sharp distinction between martyrdom and the category of sacrifice, the latter of which is often uncritically equated with ritual killing and violence.This is not a book primarily about scapegoating or violence against othersbut an anthology with a specific focus on self-sacrifice.Contact with Roman imperialism and its heroic ideology of death, however, prodded Jews like Josephus to develop a Jewish ideal of martyrdom that persisted into the talmudic period.

Particularly valuable in the introduction is Kitts’s sharp distinction between martyrdom and the category of sacrifice, the latter of which is often uncritically equated with ritual killing and violence.This is not a book primarily about scapegoating or violence against othersbut an anthology with a specific focus on self-sacrifice.Contact with Roman imperialism and its heroic ideology of death, however, prodded Jews like Josephus to develop a Jewish ideal of martyrdom that persisted into the talmudic period.

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Rejecting the theological apologetic that dismisses suicide as an act that is not “genuinely religious,” the contributors to examine Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Daoist, and Buddhist motivations for suicide from literary, sociopolitical, psychological, philosophical, and theological standpoints.

In her introduction, Kitts reminds readers that early Christian martyrs, whose reputations for sanctity have been burnished with the patina of centuries, scandalized ancient writers from Marcus Aurelius to Lucian.

Just one religious publication, the Churchman, took the trouble to ridicule it at length.

A veteran contributor to scholarship on religion and violence, Margo Kitts brings fifteen essays into a coherent and wide-ranging presentation on martyrdom and suicide across religious traditions.

It is a snapshot of the religious movements in the U. The series also includes The Brass Check (journalism), The Goose-step (higher education), The Goslings (elementary and high school education), Mammonart (art) and Money Writes! The term “Dead Hand” ironically refers to Adam Smith’s concept that allowing an "invisible hand" of individual self-interest to shape economic relations provides the best result for society as a whole.

In this book, Sinclair attacks institutionalized religion as a “source of income to parasites, and the natural ally of every form of oppression and exploitation.” Most clergymen are hypocrites, but they are not entirely to blame.The ideology of early Christian martyrdom opened boundaries of gender fluidity in a patriarchal culture, as women like Perpetua gained access to masculinity by accepting death.Catherine Wessinger brings the presentation into the 1990s with her profile of the Branch Davidians and Heaven’s Gate, probing the trajectory by which these two millennial groups moved from dualistic worldviews to a willingness to die for their beliefs.The next three essays examine Islamic history and theology.Asma Afsaruddin and Mohammed Hafez’s essays are high points in the book as both historicize Muslim ideologies of suicide too often reified both by Islamists and their Western opponents without an acknowledgement of social contexts.It is not meant to be objective, but to present a compelling case.It reads like the exhaustive oral argument of a very able prosecuting attorney.Afsaruddin’s essay stands apart as one valuable for use in classrooms, as she walks readers through texts from the Qur’an and the hadith to demonstrate that debates over the proper qualification for a (i.e., pious believer or military martyr) were as contested at Islam’s beginnings as they are today.With suicide forbidden by the Qur’an, it was incumbent upon early Muslim writers to make a distinction between suicide and martyrdom, and such a distinction allowed the heroic ideal of the self-sacrificing warrior to take root within three centuries of Islam’s beginnings.Like other men, they are victimized by “the competitive wage-system, which presents them with the alternative to swindle or to starve.” Sinclair savages the Episcopal establishment for transforming the proletarian Jesus into a defender of wealth and privilege, and for a long history of alliance with political power in England and the United States.Turning to the “nonconforming” Protestant sects, adherents of "The Church of the Merchants" are focused on achieving prosperity within the existing economic system.

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