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Religion and Violence Essay

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Conflict and violence is around us throughout the world and the mass media has made a huge impact of what we think of violence and the relation to religion, especially in the last couple of years. In addition violence has been considered as being part of human nature and comes from our biological structure of aggression. It is an out let for us to relieve stress levels and some believe that it can be a device of vengeance and a positive mechanism to human survival. For example it is a system for the survival of the fittest and reproduction. Another way that we can look at it on a different spectrum is the way religious beliefs utilise non violent mechanisms that try to diminish the impacts of aggressive behaviour. When we think of religion and violence we do not think to situate them together. This is because “theologically, it can certainly be concluded that all religions have the goal of peace” . People who are outsider of a religious tradition can make many generalisations. In this essay it will discuss why some religious traditions in South East Asia oppose violence. In addition the rejections of violence have shaped and changed religious practices within Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. There have also been many generalisations about the above traditions. Moreover I will try and answer why non violence has become a generalisation and how it has impacted India as a whole.
“The trauma of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., which were quickly interpreted as religious as well as political phenomena, provoked yet another body of studies. On the other hand, general studies of the relationship between religion and violence are rare, and they often appear to be somewhat one-sided...


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...ften members of the warrior caste (kṣatriya) whose moral obligation (dharma) includes leadership in battle .

Another similar religion which includes the belief of non violence is called Buddhism which originated from India and has know made it way throughout the Asia. This is consider very highly by outsiders generalisations that it is a non- violent, peaceful religion. However scholarly work shows that medieval Buddhism did have elements of violent acts and justification for these acts. In Japanese Buddhism there are aspects of violent acts. Buddhist monks have trained warriors in martial arts for war.

Buddhism is often thought of as an inherently and immutably pacifist religion, and it is certainly true that the first precept of Buddhism bans killing. But Buddhists, like the followers of most other religions, have in fact killed throughout their history .



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