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Journal of the Bible and its Reception

Managing Editor: MacDonald, Nathan / Marsengill, Katherine

Ed. by Black, Fiona C. / Burnette-Bletsch, Rhonda / Oekland, Jorunn / Kraemer, David / Ocker, Christopher

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Christian Terror in Europe? The Bible in Anders Behring Breivik’s Manifesto

Hannah Strømmen
  • Corresponding author
  • Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, University of Chichester, Chichester, UK
  • Email:
Published Online: 2017-06-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2017-2006


In the attempts to understand the ideology underpinning the terror attack in Norway 22nd July 2011, and the growth of far-right extremism in Europe more generally, Christianity and the uses of the Bible are a largely neglected feature. In this article, I examine the way in which the Bible is used in Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto, arguing that this provides an important example of the role of Christianity in far-right discourse. I show that the Bible functions as a legitimating device, glossing violence as defense of a Christian Europe; as a motivational instrument, positing God as a fellow fighter; and, as an origin for Europe. The Bible is situated in a pre-modern state where its signifying powers are policed. At the same time, it is wrenched out of this solidified framework, cut up and pasted into the manifesto hypertext in order to serve as a contemporary ally to an anti-Muslim and anti-multicultural cause.

Keywords: Terror; Bible; Christianity; far right; Breivik; Europe

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-06-23

Published in Print: 2017-04-25

Citation Information: Journal of the Bible and its Reception, ISSN (Online) 2329-4434, ISSN (Print) 2329-440X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2017-2006.

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