Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, Vol 13, No 1 (2011)

The Birth of Counterjihadist Terrorism: Reflections on some Unspoken Dimensions of 22/7

Egil Asprem
Issued Date: 9 Mar 2012

Abstract


The religious and ideological standpoints of the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik gathered some attention by scholars of religious studies in the wake of the 22/7 attacks in Oslo and on Utøya. These comments mostly focused on the question of Breivik's alleged Christianity: in what sense is he a Christian, and to what extent did his religious leanings motivate his acts of extreme violence?
This essay reflects on some dimensions of Breivik's ideology and religiosity that have garnered much less attention. Identifying Breivik as a part of the "counterjihadist movement", his "cultural Christianity" must first of all be seen as a part of his identity politics. By analyzing Breivik's identity politics more closely, however, we find that there is also an "esoteric" dimension to it, which helps explain the coexistence of Templarism, Freemasonry, Christianity, and Norse Paganism in the terrorist's so-called "manifesto".

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DOI: 10.1558/pome.v13i1.17

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