Book and film reviews

War of religions

(Published in GralsWelt 45/2007)

from Victor and Victoria Trimondi, 600 pp. EUR 39.90
ISBN 3-7705-4188-X, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Paderborn, 2005.

This book fills a void in the book market.
It is an important standard work on religious fundamentalism of the present, behind which old apocalyptic visions stand as the driving force. The end-time expectations of traditional religions are spreading again and can even force political decisions.

The most important modern apocalypses are described in the well-researched work, and their protagonists are named. Jews, Christians and Muslims have similar ideas about “Judgment Day” and even use the same sources. For example, the Daniel Apocalypse of the Old Testament serves as a template for Jews as well as Christians and Muslims, and the Great Apocalypse of the New Testament is observed by Christians and Muslims. Only the interpretations are adapted to the respective ideology.

So far, only a few of us are aware that Jewish settlers, ultra-conservative North Americans and Islamist terrorists base their policies on a very similar or identical, eschatological understanding of history, albeit with opposite signs. They all interpret their "Holy Scriptures" literally, expect the prophesied end times in the near future, and are even determined to accelerate this world-wide event that God has promised by means of - if necessary violent - actions. In the apocalyptic expectations, which have received a lot of support in recent decades, decisive causes for global terrorism can also be discovered.

Religious extremists do not stand outside their religious communities, but emerge from their hard core. They influence both the further development of their religious group and its external impact, including influencing the politics of their respective countries.
This Trimondi book is a must for anyone who is interested in the history of religion in general, but especially in modern religious developments.

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