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Bernadette C. Hayes and Ian McAllister

It is increasingly accepted that religion is a cause of many of the world’s violent conflicts. The vast majority of contemporary conflicts are intrastate conflicts and involve issues of religious, national or ethnic identity. Although religious conflicts in general have been less common in the post-Second World War era than nonreligious conflicts – or ethnonational

in Conflict to peace
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Christine Carpenter

If this chapter had been written a mere quarter-century ago, it would have contained an almost entirely different account both of gentry religion and of the Church which ministered to the late medieval English laity. For in the mid-1970s the reaction against the longstanding ‘Protestant’ account of the Church and lay piety was only just beginning. The late medieval English

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England
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Jennifer Ward

Men and women of the nobility and gentry living in the world were encouraged to practise their religion through attendance at Mass, private prayer on behalf of themselves and the dead, works of charity, pilgrimage, and material support of the Church. Alternatively, they could enter a monastery or nunnery to take up a life of religion. These two forms of life have parallels with each

in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry, 1066-1500
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Michael D. Leigh

Politics and religion were two sides of the same coin. Wesleyan missionaries went to Upper Burma for many and complex reasons but their main purpose was to convert Burmans to Christianity. One scholar described it as a ‘corrupting’ task. 1 Another suggested that giving ‘pagan souls the same cast as our own’ was to personalise imperialism. 2 Few missions achieved the conversion targets set for them by their societies. As a result mission histories are often histories of failure. 3 Conversion rates

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
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The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2008
Editor: Wes Williams

This book addresses the relationship between human rights and religion. The original blurb for the Oxford Amnesty Lectures of 2008 invited speakers and audiences to ponder arguments for the God-given source of human rights. The book explains how biblical inspiration (both Old and New Testament) fuelled the anti-slavery protests and later the civil rights movement in the United States. It develops the particular relevance, for arguments over human rights within Islam, of the writings of the medieval philosopher Muhammad al-Ghazali who justified an openness towards constructive engagement with other traditions. The book shows where the philosophical worldviews that inform the religion of Islam and the rights discourse may be distant from each other. It illustrates the challenge of taking the real world of human practice seriously while avoiding simplistic arguments for pluralism or relativism. The book focuses on Simon Schama's evocation of the religious fervour which helped feed the long struggles for liberation among American slave communities. It discusses the understanding of human rights in the Roman Catholic tradition. The book also shows that the Christian experience of Pentecost and what it means to learn to speak as well as understand another's language, is a continuing resource God has given the church to sustain the ability to suffer as well as respond to those who suffer for the long haul. The book argues that moral progress consists in the universalisation of Western liberal democracy with its specific understanding of human rights.

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Trevor Dean

Civic religion is a term much used, though also debated, in the context of late-medieval Italy. Though it is obvious that not all religion in towns was ‘civic’ and that the impact of ‘civic religion’ over the countryside could be marginal, the term is still useful for a group of religious practices that gave prominence to the role of the laity and that asserted or

in The towns of Italy in the later Middle Ages
Audrey Cruse

In ancient Greece and Rome magical and religious healing continued to be practised at the same time as a burgeoning of research and learning in the natural sciences was promoting a seemingly more rational and scientific approach to medicine. Was there, then, a dichotomy in medical treatment or was the situation more complex? This paper draws on historical textual sources as well as archaeological research in examining the question in more detail. Some early texts, such as the Egyptian papyri from about 2,600 bc and the Hippocratic Corpus from the third and fourth centuries bc, contain an intriguing mixture of scientific and religious material. Archaeological evidence from, for example, sites of healing sanctuaries from ancient times, show medical prescriptions used as part of votive offerings and religious inscriptions on surgical instruments, while physicians were prominent among donators to shrines. Other archaeological finds such as the contents of rubbish tips, buried hoards, sepulchral deposits and stray artefacts from occupation levels, have also added to the archive of medical material available for discussion. The paper concludes that such intertwinings of religion and science were not only common in Roman medicine but, in fact, continue into the present time.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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R. N. Swanson

nevertheless remains within the sphere of private religion. Generally speaking, there was no official need to record the extent of individual commitment to a spiritual life which remained within the world. The wide variety of religious commitments which were available generally required an individual to set him or herself aside from ‘normality’, either through

in Catholic England
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Ronald Dworkin

9780719082542_C05.qxd 8/9/11 15:51 Page 104 5 Terror and religion1 Ronald Dworkin Introduction The Oxford Amnesty Lectures have by now a longish and distinguished history. The topic that dominates discussion shifts year by year, as it should, reflecting contemporary urgency. Sometimes the focus falls on implementation: we know when human rights are being violated en masse, and we struggle to find ways to end the horror. Sometimes the focus is more theoretical: when new national constitutions or human rights covenants are proposed and debated, for example, we

in Religion and rights
Jonathan Benthall

This review of David Martin’s Religion and Power: No logos without mythos (Ashgate, 2014) and Karen Armstrong’s Fields of Blood: Religion and the history of violence (Bodley Head, 2014) was published in the Times Literary Supplement ( TLS ) on 10 December 2014, under the heading ‘Poplars in the marsh’. Two

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times