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Does Religion cause Terrorism?

1:00pm-1:10pm on Friday 26 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

The claim that religion causes terrorism is one that is so widespread and accepted that it generally goes unquestioned. But is it true? Or is it just a myth that some find useful to believe?

Particularly since the turn of the millennium, religious terrorism has become a major preoccupation. It has eclipsed more traditional forms of terrorism, with their identifiable ethno-nationalist and political goals, and done so with a ferocity and callousness that has, for many commentators, been unprecedented. For many people, this new terrorism epitomises everything that is dangerous and unsettling about the persistence of religion in the contemporary world, and evidence of its fundamental irrationality. The assumption that religion causes terrorism is not only pervasive but influential, affecting not just the way that religion is perceived more generally but the discourse of the media and policy makers. But is this belief true or has it become a reassuring dogma for many today, one that tells us more about those that hold it, and their convictions, than the terrorists and their motivations? And, more specifically, does it unwittingly contribute to the violence that some acts of terrorism generate?

The talk is a brief, critical introduction to some of the pressing questions raised by the study of religion and terrorism today and, given the subject matter, is not suitable for those under 14 years.

Justin Meggitt is Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Divinity and Coordinator of the MPhil Pathway in Religion and Conflict. Quick Bites // Religion and Theology at Lunchtime series.

Please join us at this event via the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3J6SXwbz-rzUOlIN5ZgszQ

Additional Information

Age: Adults
Timing: Available on Demand, Live Stream
Cost: Free
Theme: Society

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