Lessons from the Bible: Genocide

Authors: Bryan Booth*,
Topics: Bible Geography, Middle East, Historical Geography
Keywords: Bible, genocide, historical, Middle East
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


An examination of instances of genocidal violence in the Old Testament show three causa occidere, reasons for killing, when a society engages in acts of genocide; supplantation, replacement, or elimination. Supplantation occurs when a society is expanding in power and population causing the defacto boundaries defining a country’s geographical extent expand beyond dejure boundaries set by the state and surrounding states. Replacement takes place when a population is supplanted and is forced to take action to gain self-governing territory. Elimination occurs when a stratified society decides to act on moral grounds against some other group- usually a subgroup of that same society. Examples are discussed the Biblical and historical contexts in which they occurred in order to better understand genocidal events. The study concludes that these three causa occidere result in distinctly different patterns of behavior both in the duration and extremity of genocidal violence, as well as in the future development of the aggressing society. Finally, using the behavioral patterns associated with each causa occidere , recent and current genocidal events in the modern era are examined for their causa occidere and the possible impacts of these genocidal events have had or will have on the aggressing society.

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