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Holy War in Judaism: The Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea

cover image

By: Reuven Firestone

Volume: 1 Issue: 1

April 2013

Review by:

Amr Yossef, PhD

American University in Cairo

Reuven Firestone endeavors in this book to explain how the loaded concept of “holy war,” that he defines as “organized mass violence directed against rival communities based on what is considered to be God’s approval or authority” (p. viii), has fallen and then revived in Judaism. At the outset, Firestone states that “[a]mong the religious systems I have studied, Judaism has the least developed and least politicized ideology of holy war” (p. viii). This is…

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