Abstract

Can the study of religion help to counter religious violence? In the wake of 9/11 many scholars argued that it could, but such claims have never been tested. What would happen if scholars were ever in a position to intercede in a real-life religious conflict? We can explore this question by considering an earlier effort to use scholarship in this way, a consultative relationship developed between scholars of religion and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was meant to help avoid a repeat of the tragic Branch Davidian standoff in 1993. How did this relationship develop? Did it accomplish its goals? And what does it teach us about the interventionist aspirations of Religious Studies intensified by 9/11?

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