What is the Sociotheological Approach to Religious Violence?
If you are curious you better listen to the interview I recorded with Mark Juergensmeyer in November for the Religious Studies Project‘s podcast series. I asked Prof. Juergensmeyer to talk about global religious violence and to explain the “sociotheological approach,” and he was gracious enough to do so for 30 riveting minutes. Here is a synopsis:
Over the course of the last few decades religious violence has become an increasingly salient topic of public discourse and particularly in its global manifestations. In the social sciences these discourses focus primarily on explanations of violent acts that are driven by the socio-political contexts enveloping them. Mark Juergensmeyer argues that such explanations only tell part of the story, however, since some actions are motivated by a religious vision, like the vision of “cosmic war.” Talking to Per in this podcast Juergensmeyer explains how a “sociotheological approach” is particularly well suited to the task of understanding religious violence by engaging the worldviews of violent actors directly and taking their theological concerns as seriously as their political ideologies.
The podcast can be heard in its entirety here. If you find it interesting or helpful (or even if you don’t) I suggest listening to some of the others in the series, which include interviews with Grace Davie, Tariq Modood, Robert Orsi, David Morgan and others. Enjoy.