learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

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learning with professionals - Higgins Counterterrorism Research ...

The relevance of this discussion is not limited to “protecting and defending the homeland”

or even global U.S. interests. Rather it extends to a genuinely sound analysis of the

global politics of security. The complex configuration and interplay of economic, political,

social, and religious factors as they relate to war and peace, is of concern to all. The

fear of ethno-religious wars, the incomprehensibility of religiously motivated terrorism,

and the shadow of ‘clash of civilization’ scenarios are on the forefront of world consciousness,

and provide motivation for taking the subject of religion very seriously.

There are other immediate and pressing concerns that need serious and prayerful consideration

such as the use of non-lethal weapons by police and security forces, the ethical

basis of pre-emptive strikes, the use of torture or “torture-lite,” issues related to religious

refugees, and defining a religious perspective on the appropriate use of hegemonic state

power. The ethical, moral, and religious dilemmas presented by these questions are problematic

for everyone and go to the heart of the relationship between religion and violence.

The answers require deep soul searching, sound theological scholarship, and courageous

truth-telling.

Religion and warfare are the two of the most difficult and important topics facing the

United States. It is incumbent on all of those concerned to take a serious and systematic

approach to how religion impacts contemporary conflict and its role in human security.

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