The lines of armed conflict, and the catastrophic perils they portended, were shaped with shocking clarity in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Less clear is the role religious ideology played in the conflicts that defined the Cold War era. All too often, beliefs held sacred by some became tools to motivate action or create friction. In Religion and the Cold War, Philip Muehlenbeck assembles an international team of specialists to explore how religion informed the ideological and military clashes across the globe in the second half of the twentieth century.
Students and scholars will find in this volume a level of comprehensiveness rarely achieved in Cold War studies. Each chapter reveals that the power and influence of ideas are just as important as military might in the struggles between superpowersand that few ideas, then as now, carry as much force as religious ideology. As Muehlenbeck and his contributors demonstrate, no area of the world, and no religious tenet, was safe from the manipulations of a powerful set of players focused solely on their own sphere of influence.