holy war

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Armed struggle undertaken in the name of God, accompanied by promises of spiritual rewards. In current Western discourse, the Arabic term jihad (struggle) is sometimes taken to have this meaning exclusively, although in Islam the word most often refers to the struggle to create a more just social order (the "lesser jihad"), or the personal struggle with the self to be a better Muslim (the "greater jihad").


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Holy war. Categorization of warfare in several religions (e.g. jihād, crusades), the war envisaged in the book of Deuteronomy. It is distinct from the just war, though they may overlap.

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ho·ly war • n. a war declared or waged in support of a religious cause.