Naming the Whirlwind (Chap. 4 of Constantine's Standard: Religion, Violence, Politics, Law, & a Faith to Die For)
David E. Guinn
SUNY Center for International Development
May 11, 2007
In this new book, "Constantine's Standard," I want to explore the relationship between religion, violence, politics and law - specifically, how the liberal political tradition has approached the problem (the liberal compact), how that approach was historically conditioned by Western culture, and how it needs to be adapted to address contemporary challenges to peace and stability associated with religion.
Chapter Four, "Naming the Whirlwind," explores what we mean by the terms religion and the secular. It challenges the perception that religion presents a unique threat of violence and that religion somehow stands outside the bounds of the reasonable and the rational. In reality, social scientists and scholars of religion have developed a descriptive definition of religion that offers important insights on how to develop political and legal strategies to combat religiously associated violence.
While the object of this book is to focus upon traditional understandings of religion, as represented by the major religious traditions (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) in reality, many ideologies resemble and can qualify as religions under a functionalist definition of faith. Consequently, political and legal strategies developed to address secular ideological actors (such as a totalitarian government) may provide valuable insights and possible strategies to be applied to religious actors prone to violence.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: religion, secular, religious freedom, religion and violence, terrorism, liberalism, conflict resolution, inquisition, crusade
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K42working papers series
Date posted: May 14, 2007
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