NATO’s humanitarian war in Kosovo in 1999 provides the context for the central idea of this book. In that conflict, the puzzling linkage between the desire to advance human rights and military means raises far-reaching questions about the role of rights in shaping international wars. Is it possible to understand or explain wars as an outcome of perceptions of rights? How did rights, be they divine rights in the Middle Ages, territorial rights in the eighteenth century, or human rights today, become something that people are willing to fight and die for?
In its report Men and AIDS: A Gendered Approach (2000), the United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS, has highlighted the critical role of men and prevalent concepts of masculinity in the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS globally. Where earlier work on gender and the HIV epidemic tended to focus on women and their specific vulnerabilities vis-à-vis the HIV virus and the stigma surrounding AIDS, this UNAIDS report illustrates the shift towards men and masculinities.
Medieval religious houses were more than enclosed communities of men or women who spent their lives in prayer and worship, striving for their own salvation and interceding for the salvation of humankind. Clearly this was part of the story – it was not for nothing that the medieval historian Orderic Vitalis called monasteries ‘citadels of the Lord’, or that monks were commonly regarded as spiritual soldiers fighting against the power of the Devil and his cohorts.
n the matter of U.S. support for Israel, religion and politics operate as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, reinforcing each other in a slapstick display of tomfoolery. Although presidents have for decades lodged verbal objections to settlement expansion in the Palestinian territories, the Congress continues to authorize 3.2 billion dollars per year for Israel while Christian Zionist organizations send tax-exempt millions directly to the settlements.