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Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses (Hardcover)
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Commands to kill, to commit ethnic cleansing, to institutionalize segregation, to hate and fear other races and religionsall are in the Bible, and all occur with a far greater frequency than in the Quran. But fanaticism is no more hard-wired in Christianity than it is in Islam. In Laying Down the Sword, one of Americas best scholars of religion (The Economist) explores how religions grow past their bloody origins, and delivers a fearless examination of the most violent verses of the Bible and an urgent call to read them anew in pursuit of a richer, more genuine faith.
Christians cannot engage with neighbors and critics of other traditionsnor enjoy the deepest, most mature embodiment of their own faithuntil they confront the texts of terror in their heritage. Philip Jenkins identifies the holy amnesia that, while allowing scriptural religions to grow and adapt, has demanded a nearly wholesale suppression of the Bibles most aggressive passages, leaving them dangerously dormant for extremists to revive in times of conflict. Jenkins lays bare the whole Bible, without compromise or apology, and equips us with tools for reading even the most unsettling texts, from the slaughter of the Canaanites to the alarming rhetoric of the book of Revelation.
Laying Down the Sword presents a vital framework for understanding both the Bible and the Quran, gives Westerners a credible basis for interaction and dialogue with Islam, and delivers a powerful model for how a faith can grow from terror to mercy.
About the Author
Philip Jenkins, the author of The Lost History of Christianity, Jesus Wars, and The Next Christendom, is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion. He has published articles and op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post and has been a guest on top national radio shows across the country.
Praise for Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses…
“A provocative and timely comparison of the legacies of violence in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. With verve and sweeping insight, Jenkins challenges all of our stereotypical assumptions about religion, bloodshed, and terror.”