The Nature of Religious Warfare: Is God on Our Side?

September 18th, 2002Dr. Ira ChernusProfessor of Religious Studies, University of Colorado, BoulderHost: Arlene Brownell, Ph.D.

About the Presentation

Dr. Chernus will present some ideas and lead a discussion on the links between religion and political conflict. Why is religion a source of conflict? Can we know when a war is genuinely about religion, and when religion is being used to rationalize wars that are actually more political or economic? Can an understanding of religious dimensions of war help resolve wars and bring peace? The discussion will look at such issues both theoretically and in light of specific wars around the world today, which are often seen as religious conflicts. It will also look at wars that are not usually seen as religious, but may be fueled by religious concerns, including the U.S. war on terrorism. Participants will be welcome to raise any relevant issues and focus on any political conflicts that are of concern to them.

About the Presenter

Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Director of Graduate Studies for the Religious Studies Department, and Co-director of the University’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He received his Ph.D. in Religion from Temple University. Prof. Chernus has authored several books and many articles relating religion to war, peace, and U.S. foreign policy in the cold war and nuclear age era. He is currently writing book on the history of ideas of nonviolence in the United States. He also writes frequent newspapers columns, some of which are distributed nationally by the History News Service, and presents a bi-weekly commentary on radio station KGNU.

Additional Resources

Ira Chernus’s web page:

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