By Hector Avalos
Is faith inherently violent? If now not, what provokes violence within the identify of faith? can we mischaracterize faith through focusing an excessive amount of on its violent side?
In this interesting, unique research of non secular violence, Prof. Hector Avalos deals a brand new idea for the function of faith in violent conflicts. beginning with the idea that almost all violence is the results of genuine or perceived scarce assets, Avalos persuasively argues that faith creates new scarcities at the foundation of unverifiable or illusory standards. via a cautious research of the elemental texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Dr. Avalos explains how 4 "scarce" assets have figured time and again in developing non secular violence: sacred house (churches, temples, holy cities); the production of holy scriptures (exclusive revelations); staff privilege (chosen humans, the predestined opt for few); and salvation (only a few are saved). hence, Avalos indicates, non secular violence is frequently the main pointless violence of all because the scarce assets over which non secular conflicts take place should not really scarce or needn't be scarce.
Comparing violence in spiritual and nonreligious contexts, Avalos makes the compelling argument that if we condemn violence attributable to scarce assets as morally objectionable, then we needs to think about much more objectionable violence provoked through alleged scarcities that can't be confirmed to exist. in addition, he exhibits what percentage sleek educational biblical students and students of faith preserve the price of sacred texts regardless of their violence.
This severe philosophical exam of the roots of spiritual violence provides a lot to our realizing of a perennial resource of common human ache.
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Additional resources for Fighting Words: The Origins Of Religious Violence
David Singer and Pat]] F Diehl (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1990), p. 254. 14. , p. 247. 15. For further comments on establishing religious causality, see J. Milton Yinger, The Scientific Study of Religion (New York: Macmillan, 1971), pp. 93-98. 16. Al-Bukhari, 36/Book of Belief, 26/Darussalam edition, 1:73. Unless noted otherwise, all of our citations of Al-Bukhari are from the Arabic-English edition of Shahih AI-Bukhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, 9 vols. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, 1997).
23. Ibid. 24. Ibid. 25. For some general histories of these conflicts, see John Rogerson, Old Testament Criticism in the Nineteenth Century: England and Go -many (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985); 1Ians Graf Reventlow, The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modern World, trans. John Bowden (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985); and Jerry Wayne Brown, The Rise of Biblical Criticism in America, 1800-18 70 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1969). 26. See John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, vol.
5 Accordingly, attribution of religious causation requires demonstration that an act of violence had a necessary precedent in a religious belief. Without that causational belief, the specific act of violence would not have taken place. For example, suppose person A truly believes that God has commanded him to kill homosexuals, and this person then kills a homosexual. In this case, we can say that belief X (God has commanded person A to kill homosexuals) caused the killing of the homosexual. In such a case, we may say that the religious belief was necessary, if not sufficient, to perpetrate this act of violence.