Religious Conflict and Interfaithism
Wilks, Colin, Nebula
The Interfaith Movement aims to diminish the potential for inter-religious conflict in the modern world by promoting 'interfaith understanding'. Its effectiveness as a movement is however limited because the method it employs for promoting inter-religious harmony can only be employed at the risk of augmenting the potential for infra-religious disharmony within the very religions it is employed to inter-religiously harmonise.
Religion has been with us since we first became human, and despite the 'God-busting' efforts of evangelical atheists' such as Richard Dawkins' it is will remain with us while ever the uniquely human needs to which it uniquely ministers remain with us.
The uniquely human needs to which religion uniquely ministers stem from the fact that' as humans' we have been alienated from the natural world of instinctual purposes in which non-human animals exist' and' as a consequence' have had to infuse our extra-instinctual existences with extra-instinctual purposes and meaning. However' while religion emerged in human history as a solution to the uniquely human problem of being human, other uniquely human problems emerged in the wake of the solution it provided, and the most obvious of these was the problem of inter-religious conflict.
The fact that different groups of humans developed different religious solutions to the uniquely human problem of being human did not immediately result in what might be termed 'genuine inter-religious conflict'. There were no doubt conflicts from the very outset between different groups of humans who believed in different gods (or spirits), but they were not conflicts about the different gods the different groups believed in. While both sides in such conflicts may have called upon their gods to aide them in their conflict with the other, they were merely pseudo inter-religious conflicts because it was not the other's religious beliefs that were at issue. (1)
It was not until certain groups of humans started believing that their gods--or more to the point their God--was the only God that the potential for genuine inter-religious conflict emerged in human history; and, as my emphasis on 'God' singular is intended to highlight, it was the emergence of monotheism that triggered the emergence of genuine inter-religious conflict. But it was not the initial and insular Judaic form of monotheism that …
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Publication information: Article title: Religious Conflict and Interfaithism. Contributors: Wilks, Colin - Author. Journal title: Nebula. Volume: 7. Issue: 4 Publication date: December 2010. Page number: 154+. © 2009 NobleWorld. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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