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The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions
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"This is an interesting, informative, and imaginative book, worth reading by anyone interested in the subject."-David R. Mapel, American Political Science Review "[The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions] succeeds brilliantly in articulating the categories through which ideological justification for war is conceptualized in the West and in Islamic civilization.This book succeeds in bringing to our attention the important role of religion in the political order, not only under Islam but also in the West and even in our own day. This is an excellent example of how a study of premodern history and ideas sheds important light on attitudes, ideals, and behaviors of the present." -Reuven Firestone, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science "Johnson's The Holy War Idea serves as an important milestone in the study of the culture and tradition of the non-Western `other.' He has shown with convincing evidence the need for a constructive `conversation' between the Islamic and Western Christian traditions on the nature of war for religion and the relation of religion to statecraft."-Abdulaziz Sachedina, International Journal of Middle East Studies "An impressive work, which contributes to the needed dialogue between these two cultures and religions."-T. M. Pucelik, Choice "This book has heightened relevance for a world in which traditional ethnic and religious identities have become major lines of conflict. Johnson has provided a major service to all concerned with the role of religion in political conflict, whether academics, journalists, or diplomats."-Peter J. Hertz, Nova Religio "A judicious use of detail in support of a clearly articulated set of conclusions makes this an accessible study of holy war for readers unfamiliar with the fine points of Western just war theory, the ways of Muslim juridical thinking or both. The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions exemplifies to a remarkable degree the potential value of studying critical social and political issues across religious as well as cultural boundaries." -Stanley H. Skreslet, Interpretation "The book is a valuable contribution towards the understanding not only of a difficult question in the two traditions [of the Christian West and Islam] but also of the broader issue of the whole relationship between religion on the one hand and the state and society on the other."-Hugh Goddard, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies "Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge to bear on the issues, and his style is clear and elegant. The main strength of this book is the author's commitment to taking seriously war for religion as a research topic. . . . Johnson's background and breadth of knowledge force us, as always, to take his arguments very seriously."-Henrik Syse, Journal of Peace Research "[The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions] covers a lot of ground in a relatively short space and does so in a thought-provoking fashion. It draws from, synthesizes, and even expands upon existing knowledge about the connections between jihad and the question of the Western tradition of a `just war'..."-Sarah Ansari, International History Review "Johnson has made a vital contribution in the ongoing conversation between civilizations by his careful, sensitive exposition of the Islamic and Western traditions."-Lamin Sanneh, Church History
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James Turner Johnson is Professor of Religion and a member of the graduate program in Political Science at Rutgers University. He is the author of many books, including Can Modern War Be Just? (1986).