Religion and Violence

The dynamics between religion and violence have always been very complex and can be analyzed by combining different fields and perspectives. What is surprising is, above all, the betrayal of expectations: to religion – any religion – we attribute the ability to offer a horizon of meaning and a form of cosmic and existential harmony. When this does not happen, religion disregards our legitimate expectations and we are led to question its role and even the necessity of its existence.

To understand how this is possible, in this line of research, a first level of investigation is aimed at the analysis of sacred texts and their interpretative traditions. This is because only the critical knowledge of textual traditions makes it possible to stem any exploitation of the sacred text, which is often used to legitimize violence. A second level of investigation concerns the distinction and definition of three different areas, often confused in the (ambiguous) use of the single word “religion”, that is: “religion”, “theology” and “faith”. Only at this point is it possible to understand where, how and why what is ambiguously defined as “religion” has to do with violence, both supporting and overcoming it.



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