Wallstein Verlag

Navid Kermani

Dynamite of the Spirit

Martyr, Islam, and Nihilism

72 pages, 12,3 x 21 cm
ISBN: 978-3-89244-622-4 (September 2002)


German Version

Why do human beings hijack an airplane and crash it and its passengers? The attacks of September 11 have been widely interpreted as an Islamic act of self-sacrifice. Navid Kermani, who holds German and Iranian citizenship and is a Long-Term Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, investigates the question whether such suicide attacks can truly be said to be rooted in the tradition of Islam or whether they can be better understood as a modern phenomenon. He analyzes the concept of self-sacrifice in Islamic and Western thought and concludes that Nietzsche is more helpful to understanding September 11 than the Koran.

A shorter version of this text appeared in March 2002 in the »Times Literary Supplement« and created a sensation in the Anglo-Saxon world.
Rights soldEnglish: Forschungszentrum für Religion
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