Jihad Revisited

Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (1):95-128 (2004)
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This article offers an overview of the various formulations of jihad during the first six Islamic centuries (7th–13th CE), showing them to be embedded in particular socio‐historical contexts. If the essential significance of jihad as righteous cause (i.e., action for the sake of a moral order) is shown to have been variously altered according to the needs and conditions of the Muslim community, significant possibilities arise for a contemporary understanding of jihad that is relevant to the needs and circumstances of the Muslim community today. Some features of the jihad tradition, although specific to a particular period and with little relevance today, continue to inform the current discussion on jihad. Discussion of the jihad tradition, then, should take care to distinguish the historically incidental features of the tradition from those with an enduring relevancy. By doing so, the jihad tradition will be able to contribute to discussions on the relation of religion to the public order and political organization, even those not limited to Islam.



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The Idea of Holy War in Ancient Israel.Michael Walzer - 1992 - Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (2):215-228.
Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought.Michael Cook - 2007 - Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (2):347-373.

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