Religion and violence
paradoxes of religious communication
Religion and violence are related in an ambivalent, paradoxical way, for the systems of religious knowledge tend to prohibit violence and to motivate it at the same time. This paper looks for the roots of that ambivalence and reveals particular mechanisms that generate violence within religious systems and their associated practices. It argues that violence in religious systems is present in at least three forms: It is inherent to communication with the "sacred," it is generated by processes of inclusion and exclusion, shaping religiously interpreted lifeworlds, and it is motivated or moderated by the respective semantics of religious narratives. The paper concludes that violence as a moment of hierophany is constitutive for the living experience in religious systems and cannot be eliminated entirely by moderating semantics.
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