Does Religion Really Cause Violence?

What if there’s less evidence than one might think that religion causes violence? That’s the provocative thesis of an upcoming new article in Contemporary Voices: St Andrews Journal of International Relations, a journal launched in April of 2018 (available as a preprint), authored by Joshua Wright and Yuelee Khoo at Simon Fraser University. The paper is mostly dedicated to a literature review which summarizes a wide array of findings about the supposed link between religion and violence. Overall, Wright and Khoo argue that the literature points in both directions, and that there’s little reason, at this relatively early juncture in understanding the connection between religion and behavior, to believe that there’s something unique to religious ideologies that cause them to foster violence.

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