"Philip Jenkins delivers a fearless examination of the dark and violent verses of the Bible—and a call for us to read them anew in pursuit of a richer, more honest faith.
"When you think of saints, you envision stained-glass pictures of piety. But the truth can be horribly different. Consider Saint Pius V: As Grand Inquisitor, he sent Catholic troops to kill 2,000 Waldensian Protestants in southern Italy. After becoming pope, he sent Catholic troops to kill Huguenot Protestants in France. Pius also launched the final crusade against Muslims, sending a Christian naval armada to slaughter thousands in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. And, he intensified the Roman Inquisition, torturing and burning Catholics whose beliefs varied from official dogma.
"One of the critical issues in interreligious relations today is the connection, both actual and perceived, between sacred sources and the justification of violent acts as divinely mandated. Fighting Words makes solid text-based scholarship accessible to the general public, beginning with the premise that a balanced approach to religious pluralism in our world must build on a measured, well-informed response to the increasingly publicized and sensationalized association of terrorism and large-scale violence with religion.
"Is religion inherently violent? If not, what provokes violence in the name of religion? Do we mischaracterize religion by focusing too much on its violent side?
By David Gibson
Religion News Service
(RNS) The shock of the 9/11 attacks was so great, and the personal losses so deep, that many people understandably sought simple answers for such overwhelming malevolence.
What, they asked, would cause someone to hijack a plane of innocent civilians and fly it into a building?