Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill” as Want to Read:
Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  589 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 19th 2003 by Ecco (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Terror in the Name of God, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Terror in the Name of God

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Saleh MoonWalker
اونا همه جا هستند. نه فقط در افغانستان و آسیای شرقی، بلکه توی آمریکا و اروپا و در واقع کل جهان. شست و شوی ذهنی شده، اُرگانیز شده. بیشتر از بخش فقیر جامعه تشکیل شدن، افرادی که کنار گذاشته شدن، و اونا هم جذب دینداران افراطی شدن.
نگاه عمیق و دقیقی نویسنده به این موضوع انداخته و موفق شده با چند دسته از این افراد مصاحبه هم داشته باشه و ازشون راجع به انگیزه هاشون و تفکراتشون بپرسه. البته بیشتر تحقیقاتش برای قبل از حادثه یازده سپتامبر هستش اما نتایجش همچنان درست هستن. نثرش ساده و خوبه. نگاه دقیق و عمقی
...more
Baal Of
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, politics
Stern brings a carefully nuanced, and thoroughly researched approach to a very difficult subject. Her journalistic chops are top-notch, and it is evident that she has done the hard work necessary to bring a clear-eyed view to the problem militant terrorists, and how they are radicalized through religion. As a Jewish woman, she placed herself in danger by interviewing directly extremists of many types - Muslim, Christian, white-supremacists, and even Jewish. She breaks down 5 major categories tha ...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is a very interesting book and it's one that I think most people should read. It discusses the rationale behind terrorist behaviour and what I found particularly concerning is how rational it is. All terrorists do is take their beliefs to their logical conclusion - if you believe you have a duty to defend your god, or unborn children, or your way of life, and if your value system enables you to conceive of killing as a necessary part of that duty (which, of course, makes one think of Nazis) ...more
Diana
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
С много интервюта и препратки към различни политически и исторически събития (реални и съществуващи само в свещените книги) Джесика Стърн търси корена на тероризма и причините, поради които религиозните екстремисти убиват. През техния светоглед и разбирания избирателното и целенасочено изкривено тълкуване на текстове, мотивите и наградата са еднакви както за мозъците на атентатите, така и за пионките и от трите монотеистични религии.
Колкото и да е трагично небрежна откъм пунктуация и правопис, т
...more
Mary
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Good analysis of terrorism, including American anti-abortion terrorists. Interestingly, terrorists find rewards enough in the activity that they will find a reason to continue their actions even if the original reason for the terror has gone away.
Shelley
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although very depressing, this book gave me a lot of information about the many terrorist groups around the world. The leader of Hamas says "if Israelis withdraw to 1967 borders, we would consider that a truce, not the end of war." How can we hope for resolution after a statement like that. I did not know about Indonesia's conflict between Muslim and Christians. I had forgotten about the Kashmir conflict. The fact that Kashmir is divided into India-controlled, Pakistani-controlled, and China-con ...more
Patsy
Fascinating read. Believes that we can't beat terrorism until we understand it and what motivates people to do this. I was engrossed as was transported to what it is like to live in Afghanistan. The control, lack of hope and inability to climb out of your existence. How easily in that environment young people are coerced into groups like Al Quaeda and the promise of great things in the afterlife/financial security for your family if you die as a suicide bomber. Easy to read, gripping and easy to ...more
Joanne
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I use this book in my Violence and Religion course. It offers great insights into the very banal realities behind religiously inspired violence. Stern interviews numerous religious militants from several different traditions. What appears as irrational and unmitigated behaviour to outsiders, is explained as highly rational within the context and worldview of the perpetrators. While you are not likely to be "converted" to their way of seeing the world, her work brings perspective on what inspires ...more
Nicholas
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Starts and ends strong but gets lost in its own details for most of the time between.
Shane Patrick
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really fascinating book. Ethnographic in its investigation.
Maggie Campbell
"What seems to be most appealing about militant religious groups- whatever combination of reasons an individual will cite for joining- is the way life is simplified. Good and evil are brought out in stark relief."

"The creation of a new self, which Lifton calls doubling, helps to explain how 'banal' operatives come to kill innocent civilians."

"'Well it came about slowly,' she says. 'Over a couple of years. We got pulled into it, it became a way of life.'"

"Strict religious communities simplify lif
...more
Phoenix
This book has some outstanding information in it and some very well developed research. Similar in vein to other texts on the subject, such as the excellent title by John Horgan "The Psychology of Terrorism," Sterns qualitative research is top notch. Her fortitude and courage in traveling to dangerous and obscure locations is also noteworthy. Some will find her leftist reformist opinionated liberalism a bit hard to swallow let alone understand, much as I did. I tried to overlook her tendency for ...more
Stephen
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I started this project deeply puzzled about how people who claim to be motivated by religious principles come to kill innocent people in the service of ideas. I learned that several factors—seemingly unrelated to the grievances that motivate terrorist crimes—play an important role in turning spiritual longing into murder.”

While no easy subject to tackle as a researcher, Stern does a fine job at trying to uncover, analyze, and synthesize the elements to the equation of how anyone gets religiousl
...more
Steven Peterson
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting addition to the literature on terrorism. What sets it apart from many other books is the author's attempt to base analysis on a series of interviews with those whom she defines as terrorists. Some who review this book negatively focus on their sense that her definition is too generous, and includes those whom they would not see in that light. Nonetheless, the interviews illuminate her points nicely. And, too, if those whom she has interviewed do not represent the terrorist ...more
Ido
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is a fantastic book. The only reason why I don't give it 5 stars is because in her conclusion she brings in additional information that she doesn't cover in the rest of the book which, to me, seems like a lawyer bringing in new information during their summation - you need to use your conclusion/summation as a way of wrapping up your argument - not as a way of opening new threads and then leaving them hanging (or providing supporting evidence).

Nevertheless this is a great book - she speaks
...more
Sean
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill" by Harvard Professor Jessica Stern is one of the books that can change the way you view international events and some of the most pressing issues on the news today. Professor Stern has written a timely, immensely important book that should be read by all scholars and public officials who try to understand such a complex issue.

The book is divided into two parts: Part I examines various possible reasons for people becoming religious militan
...more
Tucker
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
While tackling complex topics, Stern uses clear and simple language. She reproduces the heart of what must have been lengthy dialogues, and includes just enough background information so the reader can put the dialogue in context.

She begins with a quote from Kathleen Norris: "In order to write about evil, a writer has to try to comprehend it, from the inside out...But Americans seem to have a very difficult time recognizing that there is a distinction between understanding and sympathizing." Thi
...more
Colleen Clark
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics-terror
Very enlightening and interesting.
The terrorists Stern inteviewed are not only the ones in Pakistan and elsewhere who directly threaten our national security but also home-grown American ones.
The first terrorist she interviewed was a member of an American cult with religious overtones. The militia types. She also investigated the right-to-life movement. In that chapter she describes attending "The White Rose" banquet in 1999 where, among other things, hand-made items by Shelley Shannon were au
...more
Jeremy
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in 2003 or so I read a review of this book and thought it sounded good. So I added it to my Amazon wish list. Then I forgot about it. Flash forward to this year. I ordered something from Amazon and ended up going through the old wish list, finding this book at the very bottom of the list. So I added it to my order, which is how I ended up reading it this year.

I basically liked the book, but it really felt like it was of a certain time, specifically the period from the late 1990s to the post
...more
Michael Griswold
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessica Stern's Terror in the God is a revealing analysis of what happens when ideas and places are mixed with god and given a divinely purpose. By speaking to terrorist leaders and recruits, Stern creates an engaging, thought-provoking book about the nature of religious terrorism. The combining of terrorism with God creates a super-potent cocktail for violence because the goals of the organization now have sanction from a higher power providing all the justification many leaders and followers n ...more
Dolly
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in learning about terrorism and religious militants
Scary. That's my first impression upon reading about religious miltiants. They are everywhere, not just in Afghanistan and the Middle East, but in the US, Europe, and all over the world. Motivations and organizations vary, but where poverty, deprivation and humiliation reside, so do the conditions for religious extremism and anti-US sentiment.

It's an in-depth look at her attempts, mostly successful, to meet with various groups and find out more about them and what keeps them motivated. Most of
...more
Hyojin
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Really insightful. It was eye-opening to learn about the complex global terrorist network and their recruitment, fundraising, and training. It was more sophisticated than I could imagine. It was also amazing to hear the voices of terrorists and understand where they are coming from. The author makes a few policy suggestions in the last chapter and it's sad that the US is still doing exactly what the author warned against 10 years ago - trying to solve this issue militarily and only helping their ...more
Mo
Jessica Stern interviews terrorists (from multiple religious backgrounds, not just Muslim) to try and find out what drives them to act violently.
It's actually pretty frightening how normal and rational most of the terrorists seem when she's interviewing them, them seem like these compartmentalized people that have families and go to work and then try to blow up an embassy or a planned parenthood. A very eye-opening read.
It did seem a little repetitive at times and I was hoping for more solid r
...more
Jagati Bagchi
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terror can never be justified. In any form , be it aggressive or repressive.. What surprised me in this book was that after meticulous research the author finds a need to justify the need of repressive behavior of USA.But definitely some of the chapters on Jewish and Christian religious terrorism were commendable. The age old conflict of Islam and Hinduism has merely turned into a commentary on the indo pak relations. But the the book is an interesting read.
Craig Bergland
A fantastic look into terrorism that remains valuable even ten years later. Not only does this book help us understand the roots and forms of terrorism in the Islamic world. it also looks forthrightly at Christian terrorism here in America. In her conclusion, she also recommends a course of action that makes great sense, but which our politicians probably lack the courage or intelligence to implement.
Anne Holly
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teaching-related
Informative, compelling and written in a fairly easy, engaging style. I'm glad to have read it, since it seems a lot of people are talking about terrorists, but not that many have been talking to them, and this added depth to my understanding. There is a danger here to over-simplify the causes, factors, etc, but Stern does caution against this. Very useful as a primer, and also quite comforting in a way.
Nuzhat
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get through with other books taking priority. It was good and not totally biased against the Muslims. Belief of the fanatical is hard to counter because so much of it is based on emotion. Sad to see that the poor and economically disadvantaged are used as pawns in this war. Understanding and communication between the us and them is a good way to overcome our supposed differences.
Rubina
More like a 3.5. This is a timely read especially in view of the increase incidents of ISIS terrorists activities. It is interesting that Stern wrote this book in 2004, and now 12 years later we are still trying to comprehend religious militancy. Stern's account of her encounters and interviews with extremist members is captivating, providing us with an insight to these organizations and what motivates them.
Jaclyn
Jun 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-the-past-year
i had to read this for a sociology class dealing with social change in the forms of environamentalism and the war in the middle east.
unfortunately i never came close to finishing this book, but what i did manage to make it through was nothing short of amazing. it's so wonderfully informative about cultures and places many americans only hear on the news. i found myself intrigued and outraged that the people we de-humanize also de-humanize us. it's no wonder we are in a war with one another.
Salsabrarian
Explores why religious extremists resort to terrorist acts as well as the structure of terrorist groups, and what makes a structure successful. The grievances that lead to joining such groups are alienation, humiliation, demographics, history and territory. Effective terrorist structures are a function of resilience (ability to withstand loss of personnel; redundancy and minimal communication) and capacity (ability to optimize the scale of attack; recruiting personnel with special skills).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Understanding immoral motivations vs. Sympathizing with them 1 7 Jun 08, 2008 09:34PM  
  • Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism
  • Marco Polo
  • Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything
  • Wicked History Of The World
  • The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science
  • Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far)
  • Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do
  • One World, One Day
  • The Soul of Politics: Beyond "Religious Right" and "Secular Left"
  • The Animal Review: The Genius, Mediocrity, and Breathtaking Stupidity That Is Nature
  • The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I
  • War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
  • Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People behind Everyday Words
  • Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America
  • Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence
  • A Century Of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
  • Inside Terrorism
  • Mama Says: A Book Of Love For Mothers And Sons
12321
Jessica Stern is a Lecturer in Public Policy and a faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. From 1994-95, she served as Director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council, where she was responsible for national security policy toward Russia and the former Soviet states and for policies to reduce the threat of nuclear smugglin ...more
More about Jessica Stern...

Share This Book