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The Justification of Religious Violence

Written by OUC's Senior Research Associate, Dr Steve Clarke, the book is published by Wiley-Blackwell and will be available from April 2014.

Steve Clarke's Justification of Religious Violence book cover

Wiley Blackwell

•    The first book specifically devoted to examining the logical structure of justifications of religious violence
•    Seeks to understand how justifications for religious violence are developed and how or if they differ from ordinary secular justifications of violence
•    Examines 3 widely employed premises used in religious justifications of violence – ‘cosmic war’, the importance of the afterlife, and ‘sacred values’
•    Considers to what extent liberal democratic societies should tolerate who hold that their religion justifies violent acts
•    Reflects on the possibility of effective policy measures to persuade those who believe that violent action is justified by religion, to refrain from acting violently
•    Informed by recent work in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience and evolutionary biology.

How are justifications for religious violence developed and do they differ from secular justifications for violence? Can liberal societies tolerate potentially violent religious groups? Can those who accept religious justifications for violence be dissuaded from acting violently? Including six in–depth contemporary case studies, The Justification of Religious Violence is the first book to examine the logical structure of justifications of religious violence.


Religion, Intolerance, and Conflict

Religion, intolerance, conflict book cover

Oxford University Press

•    Fills a significant gap in the existing literature on religion, intolerance and conflict
•    Brings together contributions from world leading academics across many disciplines
•    Each contribution is tightly focused on the core set of questions the volume seeks to address
•    Has significant implications for public policy for the promoting of religious tolerance

The relationship between religion, intolerance and conflict has been the subject of intense discussion, particularly in the wake of the events of 9-11 and the ongoing threat of terrorism. This book contains original papers written by some of the world's leading scholars in anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and theology exploring the scientific and conceptual dimensions of religion and human conflict. Authors investigate the following themes: the role of religion in promoting social cohesion and the conditions under which it will tend to do so; the role of religion in enabling and exacerbating conflict between different social groups and the conditions under which it will tend to do so; and the policy responses that we may be able to develop to ameliorate violent conflict and the limits to compromise between different religions. The book also contains two commentaries that distill, synthesize and critically evaluate key aspects of the individual chapters and central themes that run throughout the volume.
The volume will be of great interest to all readers interested in the phenomenon of religious conflict and to academics across a variety of disciplines, including religious studies, philosophy, psychology, theology, cognitive science, anthropology, politics, international relations, and evolutionary biology.


The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate

Book cover:  The Ethics of Human Enhancement, edited by Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C.A.J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini and Sagar Sanyal

Oxford University Press

Edited by Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C.A.J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini, and Sagar Sanyal
•    This volume will refresh and reinvigorate the debate about the ethics of human enhancement
•    Brings together world-leading academics from philosophy and bioethics
•    Advances interdisciplinary scholarship on bioethics
•    Aimed at both academic philosophers and bioethicists
•    Relevant to the regulation of new biotechnologies

We humans can enhance some of our mental and physical abilities above the normal upper limits for our species with the use of particular drug therapies and medical procedures. We will be able to enhance many more of our abilities in more ways in the near future. Some commentators have welcomed the prospect of wide use of human enhancement technologies, while others have viewed it with alarm, and have made clear that they find human enhancement morally objectionable. The Ethics of Human Enhancement examines whether the reactions can be supported by articulated philosophical reasoning, or perhaps explained in terms of psychological influences on moral reasoning. An international team of ethicists refresh the debate with new ideas and arguments, making connections with scientific research and with related issues in moral philosophy.