Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions

Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions

Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions

Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions

Synopsis

"This collection of papers on the roots of just or holy' war in Western (Christian) and Islamic cultures, along with its companion volume, Cross, Crescent, and Sword: The Justification and Limitation of War in Western and Islamic Tradition (Greenwood, 1990), emanated from conferences held at Rutgers University. . . . Scholars in the fields of Western thought and the just war tradition as well as scholars from the area of Islamic studies were brought together to develop theoretical issues and further cross-discipline understanding. The chapters emphasize the historical and comparative approach to the study of the foundations, justifications, conduct, and aims of war in the two traditions. Intended for the scholarly or well-informed audience, this is recommended for research libraries." Library Journal

Excerpt

Henry Warner Bowden

As one of the three most significant religious traditions with Western origins, Islam has developed a following that stretches around the globe. Because of political and economic crises in recent years, this faith and its peoples have become more highly visible. But Europeans and Americans still know very little about Muslims, their culture, or their ideology. This book tries, as does its companion volume, Cross, Crescent, and Sword, to change that lamentable state of affairs by supplying pertinent information drawn from a wealth of sources. It pulls together chapters by eight specialists in Islam and other aspects of Western culture. The result instructs readers about the religious contexts that nurtured ideas regarding statecraft, international law, and the aims and limits of peace and warfare.

These chapters are accessible to general readers, affording a much better understanding of Muslim ways of life and the manner in which they intermesh with other cultural traditions. At the same time, this book's collaborators explore issues at the cutting edge of new scholarship, testing the possibilities of correlating heretofore disparate fields of study into a better cognitive synthesis. As the introduction points out, the following chapters develop a balanced approach, grounded equally well in both analytical and historical perspectives. They are not doctrinaire about either Christian or Muslim ideology, and they pay special attention to the practical situations from which ideas emerged and to the concrete experiences that made such thoughts workable. Without becoming mired in too much detail or remaining entirely abstract, they probe difficult questions where love and faith inform ethical situations in which law, public policy, and limited force must be brought to bear. . .

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