Hey, someone already said what I was thinking! My problem with the ‘religion is this’ and ‘religion is that’ claims is that I think the definitions of religion are suspect and arbitrary. If someone can give me a definition of religion that includes atheistic eastern ideologies like Buddhism and excludes communism, socialism and marxism, I could actually consider using it as a valid classification.

As it is, the label of ‘religion’ just looks like an ill-defined tool of marginalization to me. By arbitrarily grouping ideologies under that label, you can call them violent, irrational, dangerous and a million other things with impunity.

J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason"

William T. Cavanaugh’s The Myth of Religious Violence (hereafter MRV) examines the oft-perpetuated notion that religion causes violence. Cavanaugh levels an attack against this notion that comes in two primary directions: 1) He argues that “ideologies and institutions labeled ‘secular’ can be just as violent as those labeled ‘religious'”; 2) He argues that the “twin categories of religious and secular” are constructs which are used to “provide secular social orders with a stock character, the religious fanatic, to serve as enemy” (3-5).

Violence in the name of…

Cavanaugh first turns to the analysis of violence. He argues that rather than just declaring “religion” violent, people should engage in an empirical study. In analyzing various “ideologies, practices, and institutions” like “Islam, Marxism, capitalism, Christianity, nationalism, Confucianism, secularism, Hinduism…” “A careful examination of the varieties of each [worldview] and the empirical conditions under which each does in fact support violence is helpful…

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Tracy

I’m Tracy

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