The following story first appeared on The Daily Campus.

Theology of Terrorism Discussed

Stephanie Collins, Daily Campus, Sept 8 2011

Even ten years after 9/11, people across the country still have questions.
What is terrorism, really? Why does it occur? How can such inherently evil acts such as the one that occurred on 9/11 possibly have anything to do with theology?

Dr. William Abraham, a professor of theology, tackled some of these questions from a philosophical and theological perspective Thursday in his lecture, "Haunted Memories and Complex Loyalties."

"The truth is clear: the highest act of evil was done on 9/11," he said. "In my bones I knew that our culture had changed dramatically."

The impacts of terrorism on a country are almost never-ending. Systems have to be put in place for dealing with perpetrators in our country, precautions have to be taken to anticipate and prevent further attacks, citizens have to trust that their leaders will appropriately handle the issue and politicians have to factor terrorism into every decision they make.

In regards to 9/11, "we say that no truly religious person could ever do this sort of thing," said Abraham.

He added, this kind of evil act cannot be understood without examining potential theological motives.

For a few chilling minutes, Abraham reviewed the training, indoctrination, and religious rituals that the terrorist agents in the Sept. 11 attacks went through prior to taking thousands of innocent lives.

Prayer was involved in every step.

The attackers prayed for victory and for the forgiveness of their sins, which Abraham noted most likely included their attendance at strip clubs.

They coated themselves in perfume and prepared themselves for death and their subsequent arrival in "paradise."

They pored over excerpts of the Quran, spending extra time on the one that said that, if God willed it to be so, small groups could sometimes overtake larger groups. They sharpened their knives, planned each detail, and prayed again that security would overlook their weaponry.

These details, Abraham said, are not speculation.

Instead, they were taken from the diaries of the agents who executed the attacks.

Because what happened on 9/11 ten years ago cannot be put into context without discussion about theology, Abraham said that post 9/11, "we also cannot understand ourselves in this ‘new normal' without theology."

In closing, Abraham chose to use the words of the Eastern Orthodox Church to commemorate the lives lost that day: "May the memory of those who died be eternal."

News Room

News Archive 2014

News Archive 2013

News Archive 2012

2 Professors Are Brains Behind CNN

Seven Things Happening Today

80 Years Later

9/11 Reshaped Lives of Muslims

Allan Sloan on Marketplace

American Cynicism on Rise

American Dream Shattered

Annual Conference of the Professions

Art Blog of Sandie

BART Controversy Centers on Social Media

BART Social Media Crackdown Uncharted Legal Territory

Bauer incentive Scholarship

Campaign Hits Ground

Campaign 2012: SMU Experts Weigh In

Commemorating Nine Eleven

Council Fields Trip to SMU

Dallas Council to Attend Ethics Class

Dallas Council to Attend Ethics Conference

Dallas Fort Worth 9/11 Events

Dallas Mayor Discusses Education

Dallas Philanthropist Dies

Dallas City Officials Say Party Funds Sought Inappropriately

Dennis Simon speaks on civil rights movements 50th anniversary

DFW International Community Alliance

Distinguished Professor Dennis Simon Pressents "Politics of Memory and Legacy of Civil Rights" on Oct. 1

Eagle Scholars First in Families

Earning Trust Demand for Ethics Leadership

'E-Democracy' the new 'grassroots'

Engaged Learning

Ethical Leadership in Government

Ethics of Financial Transparency

Ethics Trust & Transparency Conference

Frito Lay Plano Library Possibility

Frito Lay Plano Library Possibility

Future of Education KERA

Giveing perspective to the GOP Convention in Tampa Bay

GOP debates get physical

Gov Perry Hits Pres Campiagn Trail

Humann Recieves Reward

Humann Recognized

Is it Okay for Women to Curse at Work

Letters to the President

KERA Future of Education

Kimberly Clark Wins Ethics Award

Komen Reverses Cut to Planned Parenthood

KRLD Interviews Two SMU Professors About Their Dial Testing Technology

Leadership in Government Ethics

Legacies of September 11th

Legacies of September 11th D-Mag

Dial Testing in South Carolina

Looking back and ahead

Maguire Center Helps Students

Marin of Error: Two Candidates, Two Journeys, One lost race of dreams

Medallion Awards: Rita Kirk

Muslims Fight for Acceptance

Mustangs Jump into DNC Politics

September 11 Memorial Events at SMU

Oil Comapny and Houston settle 20 years of wrangling

In online journal, SMU students share memories of 9/11

9/11 Blog- Dallas Morning News

Panel Discusses Civil Liberites

Pegasus News: 9/11 Week

PolicyPulse Tests

Practical Advice from Commuication Experts

Prosecution of Top Government Offiicals for Torture

In Public and Private Forth Worth Residents Remember 9/11

Rais Bhuiyan of Dallas speaks message of forgiveness

Report on SMU Ethics Program

Report back: Yoo v. Pitts debate in Dallas

Responsible Business Leadership

Ryan's speech gives undecided voters mild nudge towards Romney

Share your 9/11 Story

SMU conference examines natinoal security and civil liberites

SMU Experts, organizations teach an electoral college 2012

SMU experts discuss Rick Perry's 2012 presidential run

SMU Experts: Rick Perry's quest for the presidency

SMU Eyes Bright Future

SMU's Home Opener on 9/11 to Feature Patriotic Theme, Special Military Tribute

SMU to honor tenth anniversary of 9/11

SMU honors 9/11 with thought provoking events

SMU honors distinguished alumni and emerging leader

SMU honors 9/11 with thought provoking events- SMU Website

SMU Hosts Luncheon Honoring Millitary Veterans

To Mark September 11 Anniversary, SMU Launches Website

SMU 9/11 Journal Helps Students Cope a Decade Later

SMU, Park Cities, Remember, Honor 9/11

SMU Student Honors 9/11 Victim Father

SMU Student Remembers Dad Who Died in 9/11

Brave New World: SMU to examine social media ethics in law, medicine, and religion

Christina Rancke

Strong Ethics Must Start at the Top

Student honors, volunteers in memory of her father

Tables of Content Tables Host- Rita Kirk

The Big Short Discussion Continues

Theology of Terorism Discussed

The Trust Barometer

To commemorate the 10th annivarsary of 9/11, SMU hosted a range of public events

Sepember 11th Anniversary Website- Dallas Observer

Across the Nation, Tragedy Spawned Inspiration

Turner reflects on September 11, 2001

University Ceremony Remembers Victims

Using Social Media to Tell Sandy's Story

SMU Voter Rally to be Part of SMU's Constitution Day 2012

On 9/11 Vows of Rememberance

Walt Humann to Recieve SMU Award

Website Raises Awarness

Wat connects with political convention viewers

Robin Lovin: what went wrong? 9/11

What Went Wong? PBS

News Archive 2011

Ethics Blog
© Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas | Legal Disclosures | A-Z Site Index | Contact SMU