The 1994 Rwandan Genocide: The Religion/Genocide Nexus, Sexual Violence, and the Future of Genocide Studies

Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal. 2016;10(3):3-24 DOI 10.5038/1911-9933.10.3.1351


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Journal Title: Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

ISSN: 1911-0359 (Print); 1911-9933 (Online)

Publisher: International Association of Genocide Scholars

LCC Subject Category: General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities | Social Sciences: Social sciences (General)

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Kate E. Temoney (Montclair State University)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

In recent genocides and other conflicts—for example, the Sudan, Burma, and now Iraq—sexual violence and religion have received increasing but modest systematic treatment in genocide studies. This essay contributes to the nascent scholarship on the religious and sexual dimensions of genocide by providing a model for investigating the intersections among religion, genocide, and sexual violence. I treat the Rwandan genocide as a case study using secondary and primary sources and proffer the reinforcing typologies of “othering,” justification, and authorization as an investigatory tool. I further nuance the influences of religion on forms of sexual violation by arguing that religion indirectly (distally) and directly (proximately) furthers the aims of genocide by coding genocidal ideology and violence as “religious.” Ultimately, I contend that studying the religious and sexual aspects of genocide deepens our understanding of the complex dynamics of genocide and opens new lines of inquiry into genocide studies.