Strauss at Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, Illinois, I credit much of my approach to Christianity to three things that Strauss drilled into us as students, but in reverse. When doing apologetics, he said, "if you don't start with God, you'll never get to God.
Definition of religion Religion is a modern Western concept. The word "violence" can be defined to extend far beyond pain and shedding blood. It carries the meaning of physical force, violent language, fury, and, more importantly, forcible interference.
But, certainly, violence is more than killing people, unless one includes all those words and actions that kill people slowly.
We must insist that violence also refers to that which is psychologically destructive, that which demeans, damages, or depersonalizes others.
In view of these considerations, violence may be defined as follows: Some of the most pervasive and most dangerous forms of violence are those that are often hidden from view against women and children, especially ; just beneath the surface in many of our homes, churches, and communities is abuse enough to freeze the blood.
Moreover, many forms of systemic violence often slip past our attention because they are so much a part of the infrastructure of life e.
He also notes that when discussing religious violence, one should also note that the overwhelming majority of religious people do not get inspired to engage in violence. This tendency provides considerable problems, one of which is the support of faulty associations.
For example, he finds a persistent global pattern to align religious like Islam as a cause for violence and others like Buddhism as an explanation of peace.
This is especially true of terrorismwhich sees violence committed against unarmed noncombatants in order to inspire fear and achieve some political goal. Terrorism expert Martha Crenshaw suggests that religion is just a mask used by political movements to draw support.
Crenshaw outlines two approaches in observing religious violence to view the underlying mechanisms. Increasing the costs of performing such violence will help curb it. Crenshaw suggests that threatening the internal stability of these organizations perhaps by offering a nonviolent alternative will dissuade religious organizations from performing political violence.
A third approach sees religious violence as a result of community dynamics rather than religious duty. While religion can be used as a means of rallying support for violence, religious leaders regularly denounce such manipulations as contrary to the teachings of their belief.
Not all religions have or use these four resources. He believes that religious violence is particularly untenable as these resources are never verifiable and, unlike claims to scare resources such a water or land, cannot be adjudicated objectively.
The beliefs, affiliations, and behaviors of any individual are complex activities that have many sources including culture.
Cavanaugh asserts that "the idea that religion has a tendency to promote violence is part of the conventional wisdom of Western societies and it underlies many of our institutions and policies, from limits on the public role of churches to efforts to promote liberal democracy in the Middle East.
Religion is not a universal and transhistorical phenomenon. What counts as "religious" or "secular" in any context is a function of configurations of power both in the West and lands colonized by the West.
The invention of the concept of "religious violence" helps the West reinforce superiority of Western social orders to "nonsecular" social orders, namely Muslims at the time of publication. The concept of "religious violence" can be and is used to legitimate violence against non-Western "Others".
Peace depends on a balanced view of violence and recognition that so-called secular ideologies and institutions can be just as prone to absolutism, divisiveness, and irrationality. John Morreall and Tamara Sonn have argued that all cases of violence and war include social, political, and economic dimensions.
Since there is no consensus on definitions of "religion" among scholars and no way to isolate "religion" from the rest of the more likely motivational dimensions, it is incorrect to label any violent event as "religious". Especially since people from different faiths constantly became allies and fought each other in no consistent fashion.
She notes that the Western concept of separation of church and state, which was advocated first by the Reformer Martin Luther, laid a foundation for viewing society as divided when in reality religion and society were intermixed to the point that no one made such distinction nor was there a defining cut between such experiences in the past.
During the Enlightenment, religion began to be seen as an individualistic and private thing and that modern secular ideals like equality of all human beings, intellectual and political liberty were things that were historically promoted in a religious idiom in the past.
He describes the traditional response in defense of religion as "draw ing a distinction between the religion and what is done in the name of that religion or its faithful. He asserts that " t he secular was a way of living with the religious differences that had produced so much horror.
Under secularity, political entities have a warrant to make decisions independent from the need to enforce particular versions of religious orthodoxy. Indeed, they may run counter to certain strongly held beliefs if made in the interest of common welfare.
Thus, one of the important goals of the secular is to limit violence. Cavanaugh writes that what he calls "the myth of religious violence" as a reason for the rise of secular states may be traced to earlier philosophers, such as Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire.
Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. Secular violence[ edit ] Religion and secular[ edit ] According to John Carlson, excessive attention is often paid to acts of religious violence compared to acts of secular violence that do occur.
This leads to a false essetializing of both religion as being prone to violence and the secular as being prone to peace, despite the abundant examples of secular violence that have occurred. People who wish to wage war and terror will find diverse ways to gather support.
Secular ideologies have and will likely continue to use violence, oppression, and manipulation to further their own objectives, with or without the availability of religion as a tool. Wars that are secular in nature need no specifically religious endorsement and regularly operate with and without the support of non-religious ideologies.May 19, · Yet one need not rely on purely exegetical and philological arguments; both history and current events give the lie to Jenkins's relativism.
Whereas first-century Christianity spread via the blood of martyrs, first-century Islam spread through violent conquest and bloodshed. In the context of violence against women, religious teachings and communities will play a role; they will never be neutral.
This document covers some of the basic issues and questions that confront religiously identified women who have experienced abuse. Yes, the religion of Islam was ordered to be spread by the sword.
Examples of these actions include Muhammad's massacres of the Jewish tribes of. Religious people and “faitheists”—my term for nonbelievers who feel that religion is good for society as a whole—have been using a new strategy against atheists.
If Islam Is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity The world’s oldest religions all have troubling histories of bloodshed.
Singling out Islam is just Trump’s latest, hateful hypocrisy. Jan 13, · “One of the best arguments against people who claim Islam as a religion of war” is made in spite of Islam’s This in spite of decades of violence against innocents in the or gagged.
You cannot expect, Peter, from all the people to have your knowledge and confidence in a finger snap. All religions have to evolve slowly.