"Why do the nations rage so furiously together and the people imagine a vain thing?” That is Handel’s lyrical adaptation of Psalm 2:1. The anguished question is an ancient one, reflected in the mythology of the Greek and Roman gods of war, Ares and Mars. Tolstoy asks in his extensive study of war, “Why did millions of people begin to kill one another?
Of the writing (and publishing) of histories of the Protestant Reformation there is no end: almost a dozen Reformation histories have been published in English within the past decade or so, suggesting that the subject continues to fascinate.
Are old animosities to blame for the recent rise of religious and ethnic violence around the world? To believe that they are, we would have to believe that rivalries between Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Muslims, and Muslims and Jews characterized earlier times.
Harvard Divinity School’s 2002 Religion in the Feminist Movement Conference drew overwhelming interest. The demand for seats was so high that participants spilled from the conference hall into a second room where speeches were projected onto a video screen.