Mark Juergensmeyer on “Sociotheology and Cosmic War”
February 11, 2013 Leave a comment
The Religious Studies Podcast has recently posted an interview with Mark Juergensmeyer. Juergensmeyer is one of the leading scholars in the field of religious violence. Specifically, he has helped bring to the surface the ways that “religious” violence is often a response to “secular” phenomena like globalization. A key concept in this theorizing is what he has termed “cosmic war.”
Building upon his years of work on this and related topics he is now arguing for a sociotheological approach to studying religion and violence. He says that sociotheology “takes seriously the whole structure of a religious worldview and understands it as it is embedded in its social contexts.” This combination of sociological methods with theological literacy could have very practical application in dealing with religious terrorists. Specifically, he points out the ways that the US response to David Koresh or Osama bin Laden could have been different (and more effective). Listen to the whole podcast here.