Violence has always played a part in the religious imagination, from symbols and myths to legendary battles, from colossal wars to the theater of terrorism. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence surveys intersections between religion and violence throughout history and around the world. The forty original essays in this volume include overviews of major religious traditions, showing how violence is justified within the literary and theological foundations of the tradition, how it is used symbolically and in ritual practice, and how social acts of violence and warfare have been justified by religious ideas. The essays also examine patterns and themes relating to religious violence, such as sacrifice and martyrdom, which are explored in cross-disciplinary or regional analyses; and offer major analytic approaches, from literary to social scientific studies. The contributors to this volume--innovative thinkers who are forging new directions in theory and analysis related to religion and violence--provide novel insights into this important field of studies. By mapping out the whole field of religion and violence, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence will prove an authoritative source for students and scholars for years to come.