Religion and Violence from Literary Perspectives

Margo Kitts

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199759996
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Religion and Violence from Literary Perspectives

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This chapter investigates how violence gets into religious texts and how it gets out of them, into action. Religious literatures clearly help to provide archives of cosmologies, memories, personalities, and symbols for collective imagination. Trauma, terror, pain and the like are among the fundamental components of religious literature, and conjure a violent imaginary, which, by definition, takes shape in violent acts. It surely modifies wartime actions constituted within ancient literature, in some cases saturating warlike acts with sacrificial themes. Upon reading, hearing, or seeing, it is hard to imagine that any conscious being would not be focused by a spectacle of violent destruction, grasping immediately the specter of his or her own demise.

Keywords: violence; religious literatures; collective imagination; violent imaginary; violent destruction; trauma; terror; pain

Article.  6462 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Philosophy of Religion

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