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Religion: A Source Of Violence Essay

923 words - 4 pages

In Hermann Häring’s, Religion as a Source of Violence: Overcoming Violence in the Name of Religion (Christianity and Islam) and Working Hard to Overcome Violence in the Name of Religion, he focuses on the notion of violence in the name of religion and the role of religion in the name of peace. All religions know violence and killing are unacceptable, but when religion is questioned or disputed, violence is used as a means to protect ones authenticity or credibility. Violence is no longer an acceptable means to reconcile conflict. The use of non-violent tactics, communication, and formal steps to settle conflicts should be enforced to overcome violence and show reconciliation for past conflicts to create solidarity and trust amongst different religions.
Hermann Häring’s argues that religion only leads to violence when it is combined with other factors. In relation to the articles, when religion is combined with power it can lead to violence. Häring shows this relationship of violence and power with the Catholic and Islamic religions. Both have gained power over time with the use of violence. They are guilty of provoking and practicing violence to gain power and political action. The legacy of violence and religion begun at the beginning of Christianity and Islam. Both religions have showed an unwillingness to accept views other than their own and have shown inconsistent behavior with their own beliefs. The Christian religion is a religion of peace, love of one’s neighbor and one’s enemy (93). Islam is the belief of devoting oneself to the Will of God. Islam is concerned with the active shaping of a just world (95). Historically it was once a crime to commit heresy against the common belief of the community. Individuals who opposed the official policy (or religion) were tortured and condemned to death. Häring argues that historical experience shows that increasing social influence lead to increasing violence (83). Different forms of heresy were practiced, but lead to torture or banishment of ones society. Dissidents was a crime that disrupted social order. Both were considered prophetic regions and were acting in accordance with the will of God. “Whoever says a word against the Song of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come’, (Matt. 12.32)” (84). However, each were capable of providing solidarity, help, and resistance to the use of non-violence during conflict.
To practice non-violence during conflict, especially when settling violence in connection with dissidents, productive solutions must be used to regulate conversation and preserve justice, peace, and freedom. “We have learned from Third World theologians that at the end of our century resolutions of conflicts are possible only when...

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