The Myth of Religious Violence Q & A
William Cavanaugh delivers the 2016 Richard Johnson Lecture, on the widely-held assumption that religion causes violence.
It’s a widely held assumption in Western societies that religion has a peculiar tendency to promote violence. Indeed, much of our domestic and foreign policy assumes this. Is it a fair assumption? Are religions more inclined to promote violence than things like nationalism and access to oil? What even counts as “religion”? And what role have “secular” ideologies as well as “religious” ones played in fomenting violence? American philosopher William Cavanaugh offers some provocative arguments.