Friday, July 20, 2007

So good! (another quote from Volf)

From an article called "Christianity and Violence:"

"What I will argue is that at least when it comes to Christianity the cure against religiously induced and legitimized violence is almost exactly the opposite of what an important intellectual current in the West since the Enlightenment has been suggesting. The cure is not less religion, but, in a carefully qualified sense, more religion. I don’t mean, of course, that the cure against violence lies in increased religious zeal; blind religious zeal is at the heart of the problem. Instead, it lies in stronger and more intelligent commitment to the faith as faith. In terms of how Christian faith is conceived, my thesis is this: The more we reduce Christian faith to vague religiosity which serves primarily to energize, heal, and give meaning to the business of life whose content is shaped by factors other than faith (such as national or economic interests), the worse off we will be. Inversely, the more the Christian faith matters to its adherents as faith and more they practice it as an ongoing tradition with strong ties to its origins and with clear cognitive and moral content, the better off we will be. “Thin” but zealous practice of the Christian faith is likely to foster violence; “thick” and committed practice will help generate and sustain a culture of peace. This thesis amounts to the claim that approaching the issue of religion and violence by looking at the quantity of religious commitment—more religion, more violence, less religion, less violence—is unsophisticated and mistaken. The most relevant factor is, rather, the quality of religious commitments within a given religious tradition."

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