Synopsis: This book brings together a variety of perspectives on how religion can be related to violence and war--both in a destructive and constructive way. Religion can justify and mobilize violence--even terrorism or guerilla wars--just like political ideology. But how is such a link between religion and violent behavior established in the first place? How can we go further in understanding this possible connection between religion and war? Is religious peace work just the flip side of religious support of war? Or can peace work be informed by knowing about how religion promotes violence and war? In the search for answers to the puzzle of religion and war, it is easy to focus on conflict and war situations, but maybe there is as much to learn from peace work as from war studies? Therefore, this book also analyses religious peace work from different contexts. The multifaceted presence of religion in conflict situations--whether justifying violence or promoting peace--is illustrated in this book using a variety of situations, in an enlightening panorama of one of today's must puzzling social connections: religion and armed conflict. Contributors include: R. Scott Appleby, Goran Gunner, Mariyahl Hoole, Mark Juergensmeyer, Anne Kubai, Kjell-Ake Nordquist, Jehan Perera, Jennifer Schirmer, Nari Senanayake, and Maria Smaberg. Endorsements: "Is religion used or is religion using violence and war? Is religion seeking peace or is it manipulated by those who have particular political agendas? The cases presented are varied and contribute enormously to our shared understanding of how religion is playing both the role of promoting and restraining violence, conflict, and conflict resolution. . . . This book is precious. It is rich, well crafted, and stimulating. It is an invitation for further conversation on the religious choice between war and peace." --Andrea Bartoli, Dean, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University "Gods and Arms is a timely book dedicated to one of the most burning issues of the day. It brings together thematic essays by some of the leading international authorities in the field and concrete case studies full of insight into the varied roles of organized religion and religious identities. . . . We learn, for example, about the relevance of liberation theology in the Colombian guerilla wars, the religious rationalization and interpretation of atrocities in Rwanda during the genocide, and the conflicting ambitions of the Anglican church in Palestine during the British mandate." --Anders Mellbourn, Chair of the Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University "In Gods and Arms, internationally respected researchers approach the urgent problem of religion and conflict. This is done in intellectual and empirical analyses of concepts such as fundamentalism and terrorism. In addition, the book presents examples by relating well-known contemporary experiences of religiously ingrained war, genocide, and terrorism in Rwanda, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Palestine. . . . Gods and Arms provides a much-needed, stimulating, and innovative study that deepens our insight into the complex relationship between religion, conflict, and peace." --Peter Wallensteen, Professor of Peace Research, Uppsala University and the University of Notre Dame Author Biography: Kjell-Ake Nordquist is Visiting Professor at Stockholm School of Theology and Associate Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University."