Aspects of Terrorism and Martyrdom: Dying for Good, Dying for God

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The first collection of its kind to provide a comprehensive investigation of terrorism, suicide terrorism and martyrdom in an empirical study that spans continents and cultures from Northern Ireland to Tokyo, Japan, the Middle East, the UK, America, Israel and elsewhere throughout the world.

This is a collection of empirical and theoretical studies dealing with terrorism, peace-making, peace keeping and post-traumatic treatment of those injured by violence through acts of terrorism and martyrdom.

The research is world-wide in scope and multidisciplinary in content and focus. It illustrates that the combination of religion, politics and terrorism is not a new phenomenon and it is not confined to the Muslim world. The book goes to the heart of these issues, in particular focusing on the religious aspect of these questions, which is epitomized in the woeful lack of understanding in western society regarding Islam and the Islamic world.


“There is sound psychological evidence that empathic understanding of the “other” can help to overcome prejudice and it is to be hoped that readers of this work will develop such an understanding which could serve as the first step on the road to constructive resolution.”
-Professor Ed Cairns,
Department of Psychology,
University of Ulster at Coleraine

“This is a huge subject and the chapters provide both theoretical and empirical discussions of conflicts involving terrorism and its aftermath…journalists and cultural commentators who read this book might avoid repeating common prejudice.”
-Professor William K. Kay,
Department of Theology and Religious Studies,
University of Chester

“There is a mix of theoretical and empirical contributions. Individually and collectively these works make a significant and timely contribution to the field. Such a multidisciplinary approach is to be valued and welcomed.”
-Professor Conor McGuckin,
School of Education,
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Table of Contents

Foreword : Ed Cairns
Christopher Alan Lewis, M. Brooke Rogers, Kate M Loewenthal, Richard Amlôt, Marco Cinnirella, and Humayun Ansari
Chapter 1
Peace psychology and terrorism research: An overview
Herbert H. Blumberg
Growth in research
Terrorism and its victims
Direct and indirect violence and how to address these
Psychological areas and interfaces with other disciplines
Additional perspectives

Representative research
Terrorist threats
Victims of terrorism

Chapter 2
Intergroup forgiveness and apology: Psychological research and philosophical considerations
Miles Hewstone, Hannah Maslen, Ed Cairns, Tania Tam, Elissa Myers, and Hannah Lloyd
Brief background to the Northern Irish conflict
The concept of forgiveness
Our research programme on intergroup forgiveness in Northern Ireland
Correlations of intergroup forgiveness
Psychological processes that mediate intergroup forgiveness: Emotions
Psychological processes that mediate intergroup forgiveness: Guilt, empathy and perspective-taking
Health consequences of intergroup forgiveness
Forgiveness, reconciliation, and the role of intergroup apology
The possibility of re-conceptualising “forgiveness”, and the empirical consequences
Chapter 3
Cultural precursors and psychological consequences of contemporary western responses to acts of terror
Bill Durodié
Inverting questions
Diminished selves
Risk aversion
Cultural asymmetry
Psychosocial impacts
Driving concerns
What if?
Institutional distractions
Psychiatry lessons
Technical fixations
Real resilience
Chapter 4
Responses, risks and behavior: The consequences of terrorist attacks on population centres
Ben Sheppard
Public responses to terrorist attacks
Absence of panic
Risk perception
Risk communication
Changes in behaviours and attitudes
Case studies
1995 Sarin attacks
September 11th attacks
July 7th 2005 London bombings
Anthrax attacks
Israel and the second Intifada
Summary of the case studies

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