The Genealogy of Violence

by Charles Bellinger

Blurbs and Reviews


Bellinger, Charles K. The Genealogy of Violence: Reflections on Creation, Freedom, and Evil. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.


"Charles Bellinger's book on violence is a profoundly important book. Written in a clear and provocative style, the work deals with one of the most disturbing problems in political and social theory. Bellinger's book is both an illuminating interpretation of Kierkegaard and an original contribution to understanding the roots of violence. The book is well-informed about contemporary theories and research, but ultimately gives us an understanding of the problem that is deeply theological. It is no small achievement to write a theological book that is both first-rate social science and first-rate philosophy." C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University [on book jacket]

"Charles Bellinger's work is an important contribution to the reading of Kierkegaard and René Girard, using insights from each to deepen and widen our understanding of violence and social pathology. Bellinger claims that Girard's thought, though confined by the methodological atheism of contemporary social science, is still fundamentally theological because it is informed by Biblical categories. Thus violence, no matter who perpetrates it, is fundamentally opposed to Christianity. Kierkegaard's concepts of creation, angst, and sin, the latter understood as the refusal of the divine call to selfhood, suggest that violence toward others is the substitute for faith and love of the neighbor." Robert L. Perkins, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Stetson University [on book jacket]


Gabriel Andrade, reviewer (in Spanish), Revista de Filosofia 40 (2002): 117-121.
Lee Barrett, reviewer, Interpretation 56 (2002): 222.
Oliver Leaman, reviewer, Theology Today 58 (2002): 649.
Jason Mahn, reviewer, Word & World 24 (2004): 95-96.
Guy Mansini, reviewer, Theological Studies 63 (2002): 887-888.
Paul Martens, reviewer, Religious Studies Review 29 (2003): 29-33. excerpt
Jennifer Rike, reviewer, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 72 (2004): 759-762. review (PDF)
Willard Swartley, reviewer, Mennonite Quarterly Review 76 (2002): 133-135.
Donald A. Yerxa, reviewer, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54 (2002): 213-214.