RELI3086 Religion, Violence and Peace (3 units)
The complex relationship between religion, violence, and peace is a central problem that bridges the boundaries of academic disciplines, historical periods, and global cultures. In recent years it has taken centre stage in a number of academic disciplines including history, anthropology, political science, and of course, religious studies. While some scholars have argued that religion has been “hijacked” by violence, others have asserted that religion is inherently violent. Still others have moved for a more nuanced argument by positing that religion, conflict, and violence are interwoven across history and cultures. They have stressed that religions sometimes nurture their identities by being in conflict with dominant cultures, and that this conflict is not necessarily always violent, but can produce enormous benefits. But are conflict and violence necessary components of religion? Can religion be a resource for peace? We shall explore this question and the viewpoints and arguments that inform it.
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