Religion and Scarcity

Hector Avalos

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 Scarcity

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This chapter demonstrates the viability of a new theory for the role of religion in violence by applying it to cases ranging from the ancient to the modern world, and in the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity). It also describes how scarce resource theory can help elaborate religious violence. Moreover, the chapter reports how religion produces scarce resources, and then concentrates on: 1) access to the divine will, particularly through inscripturation, 2) sacred space, 3) group privileging, and 4) salvation. It is noted that religion is not the cause of all violence. Violence against scriptures can engage all sorts of permutations within the Abrahamic traditions. Sacred space is the source of violence in Abrahamic religions. The fact that religious violence is always immoral, and the fact that non-religious violence is not always immoral, is the key ethical distinction between religious and non-religious violence.

Keywords: religious violence; scarce resource theory; Judaism; Islam; Christianity; inscripturation; sacred space; group privileging; salvation; scriptures

Article.  7699 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Philosophy of Religion ; Comparative Religion

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