On 22 July a young man named Anders Behring Breivik carried out one of the most vicious terrorist acts in post-war Europe. In a carefully orchestrated. We refrained from posting this document for a number of days due to concerns about some of its content. However, the fact that the document is. In this article, I examine the way in which the Bible is used in Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto, arguing that this provides an important example of the role of .
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In the attempts to understand the ideology underpinning the terror attack in Norway 22nd Julyand the growth of far-right extremism in Europe more generally, Christianity and the uses of the Bible are a largely neglected feature. I show that the Bible functions as a legitimating device, glossing violence as defense of a Christian Europe; as a motivational instrument, positing God as a fellow fighter; and, as an origin for Europe.
The Bible is situated in a pre-modern state where its signifying powers are policed. At the same time, it is wrenched out of this solidified framework, cut up and pasted into the manifesto hypertext in order to serve as a contemporary ally to an anti-Muslim and anti-multicultural cause.
Terror ; Bible ; Christianity ; far right ; Breivik ; Europe. On 22nd JulyAnders Behring Breivik dressed in a fake police uniform, drove to the Government Headquarters the government office buildingsin Oslo Regjeringskvartalet and planted a bomb, which detonated shortly thereafter.
Altogether, Breivik killed 77 people — of whom the majority were below the age of 20 — and wounded many more. Amidst the fallout from the event, the widespread assumption voiced by the media and broadcast worldwide over the internet, radio and television, was that the perpetrator of these attacks was a Muslim terrorist, and, it was implied, not an ethnic Norwegian.
The general consensus of opinion was that very few would have expected the terrorist 1 to be a Caucasian Norwegian, born and raised in the affluent west end area of Oslo — as he was later revealed to be. I will argue that even though it is not a central feature of his manifesto, the Bible performs an important peripheral function to the central claims in the text.
The Bible functions as a legitimating device for terror, glossing violence as defense of a Christian God and a Christian Europe; as a deuutsch instrument, positing God as a fellow fighter; and, finally, as a point of origin for a Christian, mono-cultural Europe. The manifesto thus draws attention to the wider ideological circuits that foster hatred mannifest Muslims and condemn multiculturalism. Two central and often overlapping features of the far-right that Breivik draws on are the Eurabia theory and contra-jihadism.
Sindre Bangstad, author of Anders Breivik and the Rise of Islamophobiaonly comments on this issue once: What if Islamophobia is inextricably caught up in a fealty to Christianity, at least rhetorically, msnifest some circles? What assumptions about Christianity underlie the dismissal of Breivik as a far-right Christian terrorist?
While I cannot answer all these questions in this article, my aim is to deutwch addressing them through close attention to the references to, and uses of, the Bible in the manifesto. Biblical reception history, I suggest, provides a promising disciplinary perspective for teasing out the inner logic of the far-right ideological currents in contemporary Europe. Juli [Academic Perspectives on Deutscn references to the Bible do not form a major part of the manifesto. These are drawn from across the biblical corpus.
Answered in the negative, Breivik concludes that Christianity in Europe has been abandoned. The hermeneutical assumption is that the Bible is not antimilitaristic, but can in fact furnish motivation, manidest and encouragement to fight for the cause, a hermeneutical move that can also be seen in interpretations breivki the Bible in World Wars I and II.
The biblical references are plucked from the pages breivok the Bible and generously scattered in the relevant section in such a way so as to suggest a wide and thereby representative biblical scope.
Individual verses are ripped out of their chapter, book, their surrounding narrative, logic and context, from Manifestt to Revelation. Methods of sustained reflection, interpretation and commentary on the meaning of a biblical passage are waived in favor of a raw exhibition of biblical verses paraded one after another, seemingly haphazardly. God is not a pacifist, manjfest Bible encourages violence as self-defense of the Christian God and his seemingly exclusively European people; additionally, proponents of an anti-multiculturalist and anti-Muslim position are effectively soldiers of Christ, following a biblical tradition of righteous warfare.
I will first discuss the use of the Bible to legitimate violence as self-defense, then the motivational powers of the Bible appropriated to fuel the contra-jihadist cause, followed by the claims that God is a fellow fighter, before commenting on the assumptions towards, and treatment of, the Bible more broadly.
However, they are un-doubtfully wrong. The Bible could not be clearer on the right, even the duty we have as Christians to self-defense.
In his article on biblical legitimations of violence, John J. There will be much suffering and destruction but eventually we will succeed and may be able to start rebuilding. In Terror in the Mind of God: This recourse to the Bible could be understood in light of attitudes to the Bible during the First World War. Hoover discusses how preachers during the First World War grappled with biblical principles and passages.
The common hermeneutical step here involves de-literalizing or relativizing biblical passages that could be taken as critical of violence, whilst elevating, and in places literalizing, passages that justify the use of militant and militaristic defense.
In other words, not much exegesis is presented — as if the passages speak unproblematically to the present — nor is any attention paid to the larger stories these references are taken from.
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.
Андерс Беринг Брејвик — Википедија, слободна енциклопедија
Again, parallels to this use of the Bible can be breiivk in the two World Wars. Amongst British soldiers, Bibles proliferated in both wars, 78 as Scripture quickly became a source of comfort. The dfutsch role of the Bible for self-defense and the motivational stimulus to fight for the cause goes further. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies. If anybody is wrongly handling the word of God, it is likely to be us, not our forefathers. In the same vein as the conspiracy theory of European governments colluding with Islamic imperialism, the Ddeutsch too is presented as a corpus that has been ideologically manipulated: In other words, they are telling you their interpretation and vreivik doctrine, NOT what the manuscripts really say.
In The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical ManifestoYvonne Sherwood and Stephen Moore draw attention to the anxiety arising as to what place the Bible has bgeivik modernity.
This arguably nurtured the view of the Bible as an alien in the modern world, antithetical to modern values and norms. Like a postmodern collage, Breivik cuts his Bible irreverently into manifold pieces to be stuck onto manirest contemporary context and thus play the role of divine justification of, and collaboration in, terrorist violence.
In breivi, name of a God of Christian conservative terror, a God of European patriots, a Bible is called for that will be suitably edited to underpin a European culture characterized by a ferocious othering of Muslims.
Scattering snippets from the biblical archive into his hypertext instead of attending to the varieties, complexities and contradictions of the Bible, particular biblical words are neatly laid out in the manifesto as if to be snorted like lines of cocaine in order to arouse enthusiasm, motivation and confidence.
What do the biblical texts do in manifet manifesto? What is the Bible and what function does it play for Breivik and his fellow ideologues? Do we share the contra-jihadist belief in Islam as somehow more political and politicized than Christianity? Are the aspects that link Breivik to Christianity and the Bible not engaged with because they appear exceptional within secular modern Europe? But this challenge is also necessary as a debate outside the academic operations of biblical studies.
Collins suggests that there is a need to continuously point deutdch the radical diversity of the biblical archive along with the question of how to read and treat its texts — concerns at the heart of reception history.
But the Bible is also a political animal of a less congenially adaptive kind.
Taking account of the behavior patterns of biblical texts in extremist ideology might contribute in crucial ways to better understand contemporary far-right discourse, the ever-changing roles of religion in Europe, and the complex, ongoing interactions between culture, politics and the biblical archive.
Anders Breivik and the Rise of Islamophobia. Mass Murder and Suicide. The Bible and the Legitimation of Violence. Jesus in an Age of Terror: Scholarly Projects for a New American Century.
Андерс Беринг Брејвик
Understanding the Ideological Split of the Radical Right. God, Germany, and Britain in the Great War.
Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violenc. University of California Press. The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: Kippenberg, and Tilman Seidensticker, 19— God and the British Soldier: Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism London: Victor Golliancz,14—5; It was perhaps not surprising that both national and international media featured extensive speculations by terrorism experts as to the identity and motivations of the perpetrator sassuming them to be members of al-Qaida or affiliated radical Islamist groups.
Departementenes Servicesenter Informasjonsforvaltning, Almond, Aschehaug,45, 47, In my brief synopsis, I recount the key ideological points that run through the manifesto, without assessing the multiple strands of argumentation in the document.
When I cite the manifesto I refer to the version that can be found online: The page numbers correspond to those found on the PDF. Anders Breivik adopts an Anglicized spelling of his name: Andrew Berwick, for the manifesto.
While America is mentioned and treated somewhat similarly to the fate of Europe in places, the focus is on a particularly European conflict: Crossley analyses the role of biblical studies in perpetuating stereotypes of the Middle Eastern and Islamic other.
James Crossley, Jesus in an Age of Terror: Equinox, Cappelen Damm,78— Cappelen Damm,—3: This blog post has since been removed. Lit Verlag, Victor Golliancz, Zed Books,3. Cappelen Damm, Fagbokforlaget,76—8. Fagbokforlaget, I am focusing here on the role of the biblical references; throughout the manifesto there are larger themes of Christianity, particularly with attention to the Crusades 1.
Breivik, Manifesto, Section 3. Fagbokforlaget, —3.