The Great and Holy War

The Great and Holy War : How World War I Changed Religion For Ever

4.01 (158 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Great and Holy War offers the first look at how religion created and prolonged the First World War, and the lasting impact it had on Christianity and world religions more extensively in the century that followed. The war was fought by the world's leading Christian nations, who presented the conflict as a holy war. A steady stream of patriotic and militaristic rhetoric was served to an unprecedented audience, using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon. But this rhetoric was not mere state propaganda. Philip Jenkins reveals how the widespread belief in angels, apparitions, and the supernatural, was a driving force throughout the war and shaped all three of the Abrahamic religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam - paving the way for modern views of religion and violence. The disappointed hopes and moral compromises that followed the war also shaped the political climate of the rest of the century, giving rise to such phenomena as Nazism, totalitarianism, and communism. Connecting remarkable incidents and characters - from Karl Barth to Carl Jung, the Christmas Truce to the Armenian Genocide - Jenkins creates a powerful and persuasive narrative that brings together global politics, history, and spiritual crisis. We cannot understand our present religious, political, and cultural climate without understanding the dramatic changes initiated by the First World War. The war created the world's religious map as we know it more

Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 31mm | 852g
  • Lion Hudson Plc
  • Lion Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 50 b/w photos and 5 maps
  • 0745956726
  • 9780745956725
  • 430,728

Review quote

"A painstaking, densely layered study of the many slippery uses of religion in the making of war... A work of intensely nuanced research." * KIRKUS REVIEW * "An astounding chronicle of intense piety inciting acts of terrible carnage." * BOOKLIST, starred review * "Jenkins is especially instructive on its [WW1's] consequences for the world's - not simply Europe's religions." * WALL STREET JOURNAL * "A historical tour de force... We must know the past in order to understand the present. Jenkins's penetrating study of World War I masterfully underscores that abstract truth." * CHRISTIANITY TODAY * "A fascinating book in which Jenkins convincingly argues that we cannot understand the war without understanding religion... Jenkins summons academic evidence without sacrificing readability. It is hard to read for more than a few pages without being fascinated or surprised. In particular, he does a rigorous job of showing how many of today's disputes are rooted to varying degrees in the First World War." * Third Way * "A work of the highest academic standard... written in such a way as to be highly accessible. It is a book of tremendous range and interest. Fascinating reading. Highly recommended!" * Pobl Dewi, Diocese of St Davids. *show more

About Philip Jenkins

Philip Jenkins is the Distinguished Professor of History and a member of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. Described by The Economist as "one of America's best scholars of religion," he has a PhD from Cambridge University and has written over twenty books including The Lost History of Christianity, and over a hundred articles and reviews. He has published articles and op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe and is a regular on radio more

Rating details

158 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 38% (60)
4 34% (54)
3 20% (32)
2 6% (10)
1 1% (2)
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