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Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence

Mark Juergensmeyer explores the fascinating question: "Why is religion so often associated with violence?" He looks at specific examples, taking the reader very close to the hearts and minds of those religious activists, who have recently resorted to violence as a means of advancing their cause. As this book makes abundantly clear, Osama bin Laden is only one small part of the problem. 

From the reviews ...

"This dark, enthralling book not only documents the global rise of religious terrorism but seeks to understand the 'odd attraction of religion and violence.' Juergensmeyer is a powerful, skillful writer whose deeply empathetic interviewing techniques allow readers to enter the minds of some of the late 20th century's most feared religious terrorists."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The brilliance of Terror in the Mind of God is its dissection of patterns of thought shared by such seemingly disparate figures as Bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh. Like a radiologist revealing the identical skeletal structures in outwardly different creatures, [Juergensmeyer] builds a powerful case for the common elements in five terrorist movements."--Baltimore Sun

"An unsettling book but also a courageous one. No one who truly cares about matters of faith can afford to ignore the dangers that lurk within religious extremism, and Juergensmeyer is ultimately serving the highest aspirations of organized religion when he insists on shedding light on the darker corners of human belief and human conduct." --Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

"Written well and engagingly for a popular audience. . . thoughtful [and] detailed. . . [an] excellent illustration of the beneficent side of the multiculturalism that has swept academia in the last couple of decades."--Jonathan Groner, Washington Post Book World

"An impressive new book."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Takes an academic approach to its subject, but readers outside the academy will find it quite accessible."--Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

"A sensitive, comparative study of terrorist movements and the religious beliefs that motivate them."--Washington Post Book World

"A timely, persuasive and cogent book. Juergensmeyer is especially astute when constructing the psychological portrait of the men and women who employ terrorist tactics in what they consider to be a cosmic war with evil."--Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"By studying different 'cultures of violence' Mark Juergensmeyer has provided a plausible and imaginative interpretation of this phenomenon. He presents a lucid and compelling argument that does not belittle or demonize its subjects. This is an important contribution to our knowledge of the relationship between religion and violence."--Martha Crenshaw, editor of Terrorism in Context
"In this important book Juergensmeyer argues that the violence associated with religion is not an aberration but comes from the fundamental structures of the belief system of all major religions. Juergensmeyer has achieved what very few scholars can do with much success, providing an insightful analysis of the function of religion in national and international life while moving in broad sweeps from culture to culture and continent to continent."--Ainslie T. Embree, former cultural attaché, United States Embassy, New Delhi

"Half of the world's thirty most dangerous terrorist groups claim religion as their motivation. How can the word of God sanction acts of terror against human beings ? How can violence become a sacred duty ? These are the questions at the heart of Mark Juergensmeyer's calm, lucid, insightful and compassionate book. What sets it apart is Juergensmeyer's dedicated attempt to talk to former terrorists and work his way into their state of mind. His book shines light on the dark places from which terror springs." -- Michael Ignatieff, author of The Warrior's Honour: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.