Religion and Violence   /   Spring 2004   /    Articles

Sins of Omission: What “Religion and Violence” Arguments Ignore

William T. Cavanaugh

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A TRUISM IN ONE AREA OF THE study of religion meets up with an uncertainty in another area? The truism in question is the idea that religion has a dangerous tendency toward violence. It is treated as a truism both in academic circles and in the broader American culture. So many books and articles have been published promoting this thesis, especially since the terrorist attacks of 2001, that I have had difficulty keeping up.

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