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God-botherers and Other True-believers

Gandhi, Hitler, and the Religious Right

F. G. Bailey

244 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-512-5 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (May 2008)

eISBN 978-0-85745-001-2 eBook


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In this book, which is carefully reasoned, engagingly written, and resolutely grounded in systematic thinking – as well as seething with incredulity towards the politics of faith – one can sense the passion of Bailey’s academic conviction: that questions are the only true formulations of knowledge worth fighting for.  ·  JRAI

When reason fails to guide us in our everyday lives, we turn to faith, to religion; we close our minds; we reject austere reasoning. This rejection, which is a faith-based social and intellectual malignancy, has two unfortunate consequences: it blocks the way to knowledge that might enhance the quality of life and it opens the way to charlatans who exploit the faith of others. Examining two unquestionable malignancies of “the Christian Right” in present-day politics in the United States and the “secular religion” of Hitler’s National Socialism, as well as the third, more complex case of Gandhi, the author asserts that we need religion, but we also need to make sure it does no harm.

F. G. Bailey is an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, where he taught from 1972-1994. He was formerly the founding professor of anthropology at the University of Sussex, UK and has published fifteen books (two of them edited volumes).

Subject: Religion General Anthropology
Area: Europe Asia

LC: BL65.P7 B35 2008

BL: YK.2009.a.7817

BISAC: REL000000 RELIGION/General; SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; POL000000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/General

BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; JFSR Religious groups: social & cultural aspects




Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction

PART I: FAITH AND POLITICS

Chapter 1. Faith, Reason and Consequences

  • Three kinds of faith
  • Only believe!
  • Humanism
  • Oneness
  • A Point of View

Chapter 2. Religion and Persuasion in Politics

  • Religion and Political Involvement
  • The Problem of Order
  • What should go on and what does go on
  • Defining Situations
  • Information Costs: Political Clairvoyance
  • Creating Trust
  • Persuading Reality-testing

PART II ANTAGONISTIC RELIGIONS

Chapter 3. Desert, Marketplace, and Forum

  • The Religious Right (and Left) Hypocrisy
  • Render therefore unto Caesar
  • Modes of Clerical Involvement in Politics
  • Antagonism
  • Paraclerics: Repenting Religion as a Weapon: Mrs. Schiavo
  • The Religious Mode of Political Persuasion

Chapter 4. The Need for Enemies

  • Pol Pot and Secular Religion
  • “Ardent and Even Hysterical Passions”
  • Manufacturing Enemies
  • Group Sentiment and Violence
  • Hitler’s Faith
  • Fascism and Christian Fascism

PART III: A RELIGION OF LOVE

Chapter 5. Gandhi: The Freedom Fight

  • The Freedom-Fight
  • Peacemaking Failures

Chapter 6. Gandhi's Charisma

  • Calculation Charisma: the Mass Audience
  • Charisma: Elite and Entourage
  • Single-Mindedness

Chapter 7. Gandhi's Religion and Political Reality

  • Gandhi and Hitler
  • Faith and Responsibility
  • Secular Disciplines in the Freedom Fight
  • Gandhian Morality and “Sectarian” religions
  • Gandhi’s Universalism and Political Action

Chapter 8. The First Cause and the Last Word

  • Propagating the Faith
  • Walk Gently
  • Morality and Evolution
  • Oneness and its consequences: diseducation
  • Oneness and its consequences: strife ~
  • Diseducation and Authority
  • Only Think!

References
Index

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