RELIGION AND VIOLENCE

It would be hard to make the case that religion itself is inherently violent.  Much easier to make the case, I should think, that institutional religion is by its very nature violent.  Institutional religion excludes those who do not belong to the institution.  Some people resent this.  Others boast about it.  Whatever, going back through history to the Crusades and beyond institutional religion has caused wars and perpetuated them. Consider Ireland in our own time.  Could there be any stronger argument to pursue unity and ecumenism so far as institutional religion is concerned?

2 Comments »

  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    Was it not often the case that religion was used as the cover for what was, in the final analysis, an economical or social struggle?

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    there be any stronger argument to pursue unity and ecumenism so far as institutional religion is concerned?

    Yes there’s a stronger argument. Ecumenicism is about uniting the Church to One Truth. It’s not about stopping violence. It’s about everybody being on the same page theologically.

    I agree with Barbara that most struggles that appear to be due to religion are in fact about something else. In Northern Ireland, the struggle wasn’t primarily about doctrine, but about nationalism and colonialism.

    We can’t understand any strife by zeroing in on one factor and isolating it from all other factors. Strife tends to be a complex thing.


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