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Response to Review of Holy War, Martyrdom and Terror: Christianity, Violence and the West

The author cannot complain about a positive review, which raises issues of ‘best practice’ and ‘best presentation/exposition’. In this sense he shares the reviewer's occasional frustration about his own book, and wishes indeed that he had had space and time to develop more each case treated, plus (as Professor Gaposchkin suggested) to bookend his pages with a full chapter devoted to a case of ‘post pre-modern’ violence, so returning to the issues first highlighted in the first chapter.

One test of the validity of the book's theses may be found in the comparative dimension – by looking at the relationship between massive violence and religion (and/or culture) in several non-Christian ensembles. The author has every intention to turn to these.

If there is still time, a website-based review like yours would be the place for errata:

p. 86, read ‘Hans Hut’ instead of ‘one Leonard Schiemer’, and ‘Hut´s scenario’ instead of ‘Schiemer´s scenario’.

p. 189, read ‘Vyšehrad (1420)’ instead of ‘Vyšehrad (1419)’.

p. 293, the order of the sentences should be:

But once Prague had turned, in the eyes of the Taborites, it became Babylon again. It was as such to ‘be destroyed and burnt by the faithful’ in this ‘year of vengeance’. In May 1420, the Taborites entered Prague, with the intention of purifying it and transferring their own holy city there. The Hussite moderates retorted that the Taborites ‘lied in naming her Babylon’; the city was, in fact, Jerusalem, ‘metropolis in Israel, a holy city, the mother of truth . . . which had taught those fake prophets to know the truth and had fostered and brought them up in every capacity besides falsehood’ (‘matrem civitatem in Israel, civitatem sanctam, matremque veritatis . . . que huiusmodi pseudo somniatores verita- tem noscere docuit, et in omni ingenio preter falsum fovit et educavit’). Well they might so complain with the quill of Jan Příbram, who argued for the city’s Jerusalemite identity by pointing to its successful resistance to ‘40 princes and an army mustered from so many kingdoms’, its miraculous battle- field victory in which eighteen barons had been killed, and the capture of the royal fortress of Vyšehrad.