Sacrifice and fratricide in shiite lebanon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores one obscure point of convergence between religion and violence. In 1982 a Lebanese Shiite movement known as Hizbollah – the Party of God – mounted the first ‘self-martyring’ operation. Religion converges with violence at two points. The first is where religion is produced: By those who fashion and rework the beliefs and principles which congeal in a religious tradition. The second point of convergence is where violence is produced: By those inspired by religious vision to employ force. For while the operations were conceived largely as acts of war, and therefore as politically purposeful, their very structure suggested sacrificial rite. The chapter suggests that these acts of self-sacrifice and sacrifice were not only designed for their maximum impact as acts of war. In the 1970s Lebanon’s Shiites were made to assume another burden, as onerous as their despised standing in Lebanese society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViolence and the Sacred in the Modern World
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429672002
ISBN (Print)0714634565, 9780367030865
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


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