Attention to the elusiveness of violence opens up a rich landscape of analysis, whereby social scientists can examine the often-overlooked transformative dimensions of violent acts. Theories of violence are numerous today, but because of the mysterious nature of violence, and how each individual or group may endure it uniquely, its study cannot be limited to one specialized and highly restricted field. A Hermeneutics of Violence seeks to remedy this problem by placing in dialogue various theories of violence from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, international relations, and philosophy.
This study uses a four-dimensional lens to examine the many facets of violence, including its instrumental, linguistic, mimetic, and transcendental dimensions. Far from irreconcilable, these positions, when placed within a four-dimensional outlook, open up new avenues for the study of particular cases of violence. Exploring the complex interactions, for instance, of "enemy-siblings," Mark M. Ayyash reveals "postures of incommensurability" that continuously produce conflictual positions across a spectrum of time and space and demand the release of violence. The book concludes that these postures must be understood and deconstructed before we can have a legitimate chance to achieve peace and justice, the conceptions of which must come with the intent of not necessarily opposing violence but rather replacing our conceptions of what the violences have come to constitute as "real."