New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism
University of Missouri Press 2004 Edition
PDF | 254 Pages
In New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism, Barry Cooper applies the insights of Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism. Cooper points out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the "spiritual motivation" that is central to the actions of terrorists today. When spiritual elements are discussed in conventional literature, they are grouped under the opaque term religion. A more conceptually adequate approach is provided by Voegelin's political science and, in particular, by his Shellingian term pneumopathology-a disease of the spirit.
"Virtually alone within the flood of volumes on September 11 and its aftermath, this study brings us inside the terrorist mind-set. It does this by taking seriously what terrorists say as a guide to the motivations for their horrendously inexplicable actions. Where most of the instant scholarship that has appeared is still floundering to find the appropriate mode of analysis, Cooper has identified the new terrorism as a form of apocalyptic political religion."--David Walsh