Holy Terrors presents exemplary original work by fourteen of Latin America’s foremost contemporary women theatre and performance artists. Many of the pieces—including one-act plays, manifestos, and lyrics—appear in English for the first time. From Griselda Gambaro, Argentina's most widely recognized playwright, to such renowned performers as Brazil's Denise Stoklos and Mexico’s Jesusa Rodríguez, these women are involved in some of Latin America's most important aesthetic and political movements. Of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, they come from across Latin America—Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Peru, and Cuba. This volume is generously illustrated with over seventy images. A number of the performance pieces are complemented by essays providing context and analysis.
The performance pieces in Holy Terrors are powerful testimonies to the artists' political and personal struggles. These women confront patriarchy, racism, and repressive government regimes and challenge brutality and corruption through a variety of artistic genres. Several have formed theatre collectives—among them FOMMA (a Mayan women’s theatre company in Chiapas) and El Teatro de la máscara in Colombia. Some draw from cabaret and ‘frivolous’ theatre traditions to create intense and humorous performances that challenge church and state. Engaging in self-mutilation and abandoning traditional dress, others use their bodies as the platforms on which to stage their defiant critiques of injustice. Holy Terrors is a unique English-language presentation of some of Latin America's fiercest, most provocative art.
Contributors Sabina Berman Tania Bruguera Petrona de la Cruz Cruz Diamela Eltit Griselda Gambaro Astrid Hadad Teresa Hernández Rosa Luisa Márquez Teresa Ralli Diana Raznovich Jesusa Rodríguez Denise Stoklos Katia Tirado Ema Villanueva
It is tempting to regard the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln’s acclaimed Holy Terrors makes clear, were profoundly and intensely religious. Thus what we need after the events of 9/11, Lincoln argues, is greater clarity about what we take religion to be.
Holy Terrors begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the 9/11 hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder “in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush’s October 7, 2001 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan alongside the videotaped speech released by Osama bin Laden just a few hours later. As Lincoln authoritatively demonstrates, a close analysis of the rhetoric used by leaders as different as George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden—as well as Mohamed Atta and even Jerry Falwell—betrays startling similarities. These commonalities have considerable implications for our understanding of religion and its interrelationships with politics and culture in a postcolonial world, implications that Lincoln draws out with skill and sensitivity.
With a chapter new to this edition, “Theses on Religion and Violence,” Holy Terrors remains one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion.
“Modernity has ended twice: in its Marxist form in 1989 Berlin, and in its liberal form on September 11, 2001. In order to understand such major historical changes we need both large-scale and focused analyses—a combination seldom to be found in one volume. But here Bruce Lincoln . . . has given us just such a mix of discrete and large-picture analysis.”—Stephen Healey, Christian Century
“From time to time there appears a work . . . that serves to focus the wide-ranging, often contentious discussion of religion’s significance within broader cultural dynamics. Bruce Lincoln’s Holy Terrors is one such text. . . . Anyone still struggling toward a more nuanced comprehension of 9/11 would do well to spend time with this book.”—Theodore Pulcini, Middle EastJournal
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, it is tempting to regard their perpetrators as evil incarnate. But their motives, as Bruce Lincoln shows in this timely offering, were profoundly and intensely religious. What we need, then, after September 11 is greater clarity about what we take religion to be. With rigor and incisiveness, Holy Terrors examines the implications of September 11 for our understanding of religion and how it interrelates with politics and culture.
Lincoln begins with a gripping dissection of the instruction manual given to each of the hijackers. In their evocation of passages from the Quran, we learn how the terrorists justified acts of destruction and mass murder "in the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate." Lincoln then offers a provocative comparison of President Bush's October 7 speech announcing U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden's videotape released hours later. Each speech, he argues, betrays telling contradictions. Bin Laden, for instance, conceded implicitly that Islam is not unitary, as his religious rhetoric would have it, but is torn by deep political divisions. And Bush, steering clear of religious rhetoric for the sake of political unity, still reassured his constituents through coded allusions that American policy is firmly rooted in faith.
Lincoln ultimately broadens his discussion further to consider the role of religion since September 11 and how it came to be involved with such fervent acts of political revolt. In the postcolonial world, he argues, religion is widely considered the most viable and effective instrument of rebellion against economic and social injustices. It is the institution through which unified communities ensure the integrity and continuity of their culture in the wake of globalization. Brimming with insights such as these, Holy Terrors will become one of the essential books on September 11 and a classic study on the character of religion.