Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is the Cure to Religious Violence a Global Mindset? An Irony

Teehan does it again. Though our first reading of his work (about evolutionary violence) opened my eyes, his conclusion certainly got me thinking. In his conclusion, it seems he is arguing for a "common faith that must be nurtured" in "terms of understanding the human condition" (219).

To me this sounds like in order to solve the problems of ingroup/outgroup, ethnic boundaries, and other divisions which promote violence; he argues for a new thought which bonds the global community together. His idea, is to bring a bigger picture to everyone so that boundaries are so small they won't matter. I could be wrong, but this sounds like he is advocating for a global identity.

The reason this is so interesting to me is that, through my research on the Breivik case and our study of many others, is that this global thought (globalization) is a main theory of religious conflict. How could one advocate for a global mindset when it is this thought that spurs violence in the first place?

I understand that with increasing globalization, a global mindset will develop. However, I fell like before this global identity develops (can there be an identity if you identify with everyone?), there will be more violence due to the backlash of the effects globalization has on society. the Norway bombing are is just an example of this backlash. Though I agree that we as society must "zoom-out" to a larger picture, I am also not a religious actor. I just thought it exposed an irony for me - can an idea both support and curb violence?

Maybe I was misreading this concept as argued by Teehan. While I agree that people need to see past divisions, it are these divisions which produce violence in the first place. I feel that this idea can be a component in peace theory, however, I am convinced there are stronger ideas in preventing religious violence.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting take on the reading. Personally, I took the meaning to be that a good solution to "in-group" / "out-group" violence would be a universal recognition of common humanity, which I don't think necessarily goes hand in hand with a global identity. I tend to think of it a lot like racism; we're never going to be truly blind to other peoples' skin tones, but we can indeed learn to respect and appreciate that which sets them apart. Perhaps this is ridiculously idealist, however, as a lot of peacemaking theories seem to be.