Building on a longstanding academic partnership, TRENDS Research & Advisory and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), based in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, have launched a major new project to examine the religious foundations of political violence.
Western thinking about the interplay between religion and violence has traditionally been influenced by the secularisation thesis of the 20th century. Most notably, the works of Marx and Weber posited that in the wake of progress and modernisation (however understood) human beings are more like to base their beliefs, identity and actions on rational scientific thought, rather than the supposedly mysticism of religion. Yet, it is clear that development and modernisation have not lead to a retreat in either the appeal – or indeed zeal – of religious conviction in the 21st century. If anything, the current rise of global disorder and insecurity could even be said to have led to an increase, in some parts of the world at least, in religious observance.
Some discussions about contemporary political violence consequently overlook or neglect the role of religious narratives – particularly in discussion about terrorist actors. This comes despite the fact groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State clearly invoke and refer to a jurisprudential framework of obligation and necessity to explain their actions.
Recent Policy Reports
ICSR Event – Expert Talk and Interactive Session on the Syrian ConflictRead more
Where: King’s College London When: Monday October 29th, 12.30pm ICSR has the pleasure of inviting you to…ICSR Team
ICSR Event – Clint Watts Book LaunchRead more
Where: King’s College London When: Thursday October 25th, 6.30pm To celebrate Clint Watts’ new book, Messing with the…ICSR Team
The Kurds After the ‘Caliphate’: How the Decline of ISIS has Impacted the Kurds of Iraq and SyriaRead more
The full report can be accessed here. Read on for the Executive Summary. • While…ICSR Team