Last night, William P. Harman, professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tennessee, discussed the relationship between religion and female suicide bombings of Sri Lanka in his lecture.
"Suicide bombing—or what I call 'martyr bombing'—began in Sri Lanka as a very effective form of psychological warfare. It has now spread to the Near East, Russia, Indonesia and many other regions," said Harman.
Female suicide bombers were most prevalent in the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Homeland, abbreviated LTTE, during the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Harman addresses how Hindu devotionalism played a role in the reasoning for females to give their lives in these bombings, and the fact that these women became deities for giving their lives in support of Hinduism.
"I believe we need to understand this tactic and the people who use it. Only then can we address the causes and consequences," Harman said.
The Religion Department sponsored the event.