Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Terrorist Avatar: what turns 'normal' human beings into 'martyrs' to a cause?

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The Terrorist Avatar

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


JHB lecture Theatre, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site



Roger will be exploring the phenomenon of &aphos;splitting&aphos; which allows otherwise &aphos;normal&aphos; and successful individuals to break the conventional social taboos which inhibit acts of barbaric cruelty and mass murder.

Once convinced they have a sacred mission, whether religious or secular, to fight evil in order to establish an ideal society, they enter a special state of mind often referred to as &aphos;fanatical&aphos; which become impenetrable to outsiders.
This lecture will be illustrated by several cases of lone wolf and collective terrorism which appear nihilistic and random, yet disclose a symbolic deeper logic when considered from within the terrorist mindset.
About the speaker
PROFESSOR ROGER GRIFFIN - Professor in Modern History at Oxford Brookes
Roger Griffin is Professor in Modern History at Oxford Brookes. Already widely acknowledged to be one of the world&aphos;s foremost experts on fascism, Roger is becoming recognised internationally as a major authority on terrorism. His latest book is Terrorist&aphos;s Creed. Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning (Palgrave, 2012)