Religion and violence

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US the world has been very aware of religious violence. Every day the news from Iraq seems to confirm a violent face to religion. There is a tendency to see this as mainly a problem of Islam. However the Bible shows that violence is also strongly emeshed in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Bishop Spong discusses this in his lecture The Terrible Texts of the Bible.

Jill Carroll eloquently argues, in the video posted here, that violence is inherent in all religions. She goes further to discuss how this has arisen as a natural result of the violence arising in human and social evolution. A very enthusiastic speaker, Jill Carroll is the Associate Director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University. This Boniuk Community Lecture was presented in the First Unitarian Universalist Church, Texas.

Jill Carroll: Religion and Violence. 78 min.

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4 responses to “Religion and violence

  1. The violence in Iraq is hardly religiously motivated.


  2. Joe, are you saying that religion is not a factor in the attacks on mosques, violence between Shiites and Sunnis?

    Sure, you have to look at economic and historical factors to understand the development of a situation like this but the current violence is being played out with religious justification in the minds of very many of the protagonists.


  3. I’m saying that religion or no religion there would be violent attacks against occupying forces and other ethnic groups in Iraq. The US is the cause of the current violence in Iraq.


  4. I see where you are coming from.
    My comment on religious violence in Iraq was not meant in any way to excuse the US invasion or occupation. This was rightly condemned by most countries (including mine, NZ). It was illegal in the eyes of the UNO and was cynically justified. It’s been a disaster. Hopefully, with the huge swing in public opinion in the US and their upcoming elections we will see a withdrawal in the not too distant future. But sectarian hostility and religion-justified violence will be one of the problems the country (and others in the region) will have to deal with.


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