The Construction of Evil and the Violence of Purification

David Frankfurter

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Construction of Evil and the Violence of Purification

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This chapter explores the construction of evil and the strategies of violence in purification. Prurient fascination and righteous revulsion both recreate and repel each other, developing an anxiety of confusion that has resulted in many circumstances in community efforts to cast the subject, the symbol, of that confusion. Erotic prurience into the nature and deeds of Evil may remain as a living genre for centuries without lending itself to societies as legitimation for purge. Dramaturgy and procession can contribute to brutal but cathartic narratives of saints and monsters, martyrs, and their persecutors, into the immediate festival lives of communities. Furthermore, brutality and atrocity are recurrent characteristics of any culture, often aggravated in situations of historical stress independent of religious systems.

Keywords: evil; violence; purification; prurient fascination; righteous revulsion; erotic prurience; dramaturgy; procession; brutality; atrocity

Article.  5421 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Philosophy of Religion

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