Friday, February 03, 2006

Religion & Violence

So, my class on Religion & Violence is pretty tough. The workload isn't that hard. We just have to read a chapter from one of an assortment of religion books, then come to class prepared to discuss it in class. No quizzes. No exams.
But, it is hard to face up to the violence perpetrated by devout religious people, many times in the name of their religion. And this isn't limited to "those crazy islamists". Throughout the history of the three great monotheistic religions violence has existed amongst the faithful of all three groups. Religion violence doesn't stop with the the Theists. Non-theistic religions like buddhism still result in plenty of interreligious violence.
Yesterday we talked for a while about the roots of Christian anti-semitism. Nothing I've never heard, but still, who wants to talk about the failings of their co-religionists? Since it isn't limited to any one religion, the problem is clearly not the fault of a specific religion. But is it related to religion in general? Who knows. And one might attribute it to so-called "fundamentalists" of whatever religion. Of course, such a word in heavy in connotation, but lacking in substance.
Sometimes when the semester gets going it's hard to think about much outside of class. My brain is consumed learning advanced logic, reading and commenting on chapters on religious violence, reviewing my spanish grammar and listening skills.
Pray for me.


christina said...

Sounds like an interesting class. I think that we have a tendency to go overboard about defending our faith... because it is so personal. and that is where it can lead to violence. It's easy to turn the other cheek when someone is physically hitting you... much harder to stand back and allow someone to criticize your deepest, core beliefs. What books are you reading?

Levi said...

As soon as I get a chance to I will post the whole reading list for the class. We're not necessarily reading the whole of any of the books, just certain parts. Plus, we're supposed to watch Kingdom of God and some other movies pertaining to Religion & Violence.

Christina said...

whenever you get around to it... i'm just very interested in seeing what you are reading...