Wednesday 15 August 2018

Theos Report on Religion and Violence

The latest report from Theos has recently been published:

Here are some paragraphs from the Theos website:

‘Religion and violence seem inextricably linked in the public’s mind. But what does linked actually mean?

‘The public certainly isn’t clear. While 61% of people think that the teachings of religions are essentially peaceful, 70% think that most of the wars in world history have been caused by religions. Only 8% think religions are inherently violent, but 47% think that the world would be a more peaceful place if no one was religious.

‘If there is confusion, it’s probably because the relationship between religion and violence is confusing. In this essay, ethicist Robin Gill brings some balance to a debate that, particularly of late, has been marked more by caricature than clarity.

‘Recognising that there is a problem to be addressed (if not necessarily the pathological one alleged by New Atheists) Gill goes to the heart of the issue – the specific religious texts that are hijacked to legitimise violence – and argues that read rightly they can be “defused”.

‘Killing in the Name of God will not only deepen our understanding of religion and violence but, in doing so, will enable a richer and more measured debate about these major issues of our time.’

A pdf of the full report is available here.

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