Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror

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9780060580964: Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror

Populated by many of the most iconic figures of the 20th-century, ‘Sacred Causes’ provides a brilliant examination of how religion has shaped 20th-century Europe from the Great War until the modern-day War on Terror.

Beginning with the chaotic post-World War I landscape in which religious belief was one way of reordering a world knocked off its axis, ‘Sacred Causes’ is a sweepingly assured critique of how religion has often been camouflaged by politics. Covering a vast canvas, Burleigh examines the many ‘secular’ religions the 20th-century produced, analysing how successive totalitarian leaders fantasised and aped the hierarchy, rites and ritual of the churches in the desire to return to the day where ruler and deity were one.

All the many bloody regimes and movements of the century are here, from Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Franco's Spain through to the current ‘War on Terror’. Often blackly comic, the book shows how the churches, in their various guises, have been swayed by – and contributed to – conflicting secular currents. He traces religious beliefs and institutions from a time when the church, disenchanted with both democracy and fascism, began to search for political alternatives. He brilliantly exposes the way in which fears of socialist movements tempered the churches’ response to the threat of totalitarian regimes. During World War II, the churches faced agonising dilemmas, notably how to respond to the Holocaust. Controversially, Burleigh uses new evidence to show that Pope Pius XII performed well.

Combining the deeper workings of history with an urgent sense of the contemporary relevance of his material, Burleigh challenges his readers to consider why no one foresaw the religious implications of massive Third World immigration, as well as what is driving current calls for a ‘civic religion’ with which to counter the terrorist threats that have so shocked the West.

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Beginning with the chaotic post-World War I landscape, in which religious belief was one way of reordering a world knocked off its axis, Sacred Causes is a penetrating critique of how religion has often been camouflaged by politics. All the bloody regimes and movements of the twentieth century are masterfully captured here, from Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Franco's Spain through to the modern scourge of terrorism. Eloquently and persuasively combining an authoritative survey of history with a timely reminder of the dangers of radical secularism, Burleigh asks why no one foresaw the religious implications of massive Third World immigration, and he deftly investigates what are now driving calls for a civic religion to counter the terrorist threats that have so shocked the West.

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Beginning with the chaotic post-World War I landscape, in which religious belief was one way of r....

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Beginning with the chaotic post-World War I landscape, in which religious belief was one way of reordering a world knocked off its axis, Sacred Causes is a penetrating critique of how religion has often been camouflaged by politics. All the bloody regimes and movements of the twentieth century are masterfully captured here, from Stalin s Soviet Union, Hitler s Germany, Mussolini s Italy, and Franco s Spain through to the modern scourge of terrorism. Eloquently and persuasively combining an authoritative survey of history with a timely reminder of the dangers of radical secularism, Burleigh asks why no one foresaw the religious implications of massive Third World immigration, and he deftly investigates what are now driving calls for a civic religion to counter the terrorist threats that have so shocked the West. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060580964

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