Suicide Attack: A Literary Approach


The phenomenon of suicide attack, as most prominently observed in the strategy of contemporary terrorist organizations, has been investigated by a wide variety of academic disciplines ranging from anthropology and psychology to religious studies and political science. Whereas it appears to be tempting to relate it to culture or religion, scholars have described and explained the phenomenon in many different terms and ways. What is noticeable about the research undertaken so far, however, is that its focus has by and large remained on real and hard facts. As a matter of fact, there are good reasons to include products of imagination in considering the phenomenon, for real action is more often than not preceded by imagination. This talk will explore what literature and imagination have to say about the phenomenon of suicide attack by rendering visible the ways in which the study of fiction can contribute to the understanding of reality.