Taking the bad with the good

Violence and the sacred

The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation, by R. Scott Appleby
Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, by Mark Juergensmeyer

The news media regularly report on events in which religion and violence come together. In a recent Washington Post article, for example, Congressman Tom DeLay (R., Tex.) argued that a lack of religion was the explanation for the recent shooting of one six-year-old by another. Another article in the same issue of the Post suggested that the hundreds of deaths among a Christian group in Uganda resulted from an excess of religion. Is religion part of the problem or part of the solution? Is one kind of religion bad and another good? Do we know how to tell the difference? Can we have the one without the other?


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