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Religious Resources and Terrorism

In: Numen
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  • 1 Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
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Abstract

This article draws upon resource mobilization theory (rmt) to propose five ways in which religious resources can contribute to groups that use violence to challenge the social or political status quo: by shaping the group’s ideology; through religious authority; as a code of conduct that binds members of the group together; by providing social and material resources; and as a form of identity. In these cases, religion is one of several key factors that motivates groups that use violence, including terrorism. Considering different ways in which religion can contribute to terrorism, as opposed to an all-or-nothing debate, allows for a more nuanced discussion of religion’s roles in perpetrating violence and possible paths to mitigating its influence.

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