Religious Studies 1023E Lecture Notes - Abrahamic Religions, Just War Theory, Pacifism

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Religion & Violence - Is Religion the Problem
Religion has been part of warfare for Centuries A prominent feature of Religions Landscape
50 yrs ago theologians never thought it would be so big larger than ethnic or racial wars.
Single Largest factor of war/conflict going back as far as time. Typically the media doesn’t
cover the religious aspect b/c our culture is embedded in Religion most societies laws / values
& norms/ morality are derived from Religion.
Scott Appleby ‘s - Ambivalence of the Sacred
At a given moment any two religious actors, each possessed of impeachable devotion &
integrity, might reach diametrically opposed conclusions about the will of God &the path
to follow: Violent as well as nonviolent acts fall readily within the range.- All religions have a
wide spectrum of religion & violence
Spectrum of the Ambivalence of the Sacred
Holy War - - - - - - - - - - -Just War - - - - - - Just Peacemaking - - - - - - Pacifism
Holy War:
Any war fought by divine command or for a primarily religious purpose - In All Abrahamic
religions (Crusaides) were a serious of at least 8 wars 1096-1270 BCE in the middle ages
taking over the holy land even up untill the 17th century - Christian military forces left
Europe & went into the middle east supported by the popes & political leaders soldiers
used sign of the cross to identify themselves as Christians promised converts $ / land /
spiritual reward to liberate them from non chrisitan rulers.
Just War
Some wars are okay b/c they are in interest of Justice & bring about peace
Just Peacemaking
Mid point b/w Just War & Pacifism - focus of actions are more towards peacemaking
methods that work to create conditions of peace
Pacifism
Commitment to Pacifism & reject war Killing is morally wrong
Motivations for Holy War
- Fight to defend religion against its enemies ppl who threaten the religion / don’t
believe what you do (anything/anybody or group) eliminate enemies & falsehoods.
- Fight to ensure religious conformity and punish deviance trying to protect true
religion from heretics protect orthodoxy transform the world into a moral order that
god wants
- Fight under the direction of charismatic religious leaders legitimates violence
through direction of Charismatic Leaders by general category fringe religious leaders
& opposed the established religious leaders.
Jihad
Lesser jihad - refers to political or militant struggle to defend Islam including violence
Greater Jihad - refers to inward striving for perfect peace spiritual acts to follow god &
live a good life.
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