Category - myth of redemptive violence

  • 15 Nov 2014

    The belief that violence “saves” is so successful because it doesn’t seem to be mythic in the least. Violence simply appears to be the nature of things. It’s what works. It seems inevitable, the last and, often, the first resort in conflicts, says the late Professor Walter Wink. If a god is what you turn to when all else fails, violence certainly functions as a god. What people overlook, then, is the religious character of violence. It demands from its devotees an absolute obedience-unto-death. It requires a theological critique.

  • 2 May 2011

    This morning I woke to an orgy of media-fed delight about a violent death. According to Irenaeus, the second century Bishop of Lugdunum, “the glory of God is a human being fully alive.” According to at least one politician I listened to on the radio, what pleases God most is an enemy brutally murdered.

  • 21 Apr 2011

    Good Friday and Easter Sunday we have some comprehension of (or so we think). But what on earth is Holy Thursday all about? Simon Barrow explores two actions in the story which embody, practically and theologically, both the awful tragedy and the true hope of Christianity in a world circumscribed by the use and absue of power.

  • 20 Mar 2011

    This morning I turned on my radio to a sick sense of deja vu, with the news of war in Libya. Eight years to the day that George Bush announced attacks on Iraq, a stony faced President Obama did the same as he spoke to reporters in Brasilia.

  • 27 Aug 2010

    The scent of violence in everyday life, in culture and in the news has become endemic in the Philippines, says Shay Cullen. But there is hope where different values and practices are initiated, and where human transformation can challenge the roots of impunity and injustice.

  • 9 Apr 2010

    Two interesting comments so far today about the use of (verbal) violence in politics and election campaigns.

    Walter Wink amongst others, has highlighted the 'Myth of Redemptive Violence' which extends too to the words that are used, and suggests there is another, and better way - particularly when it comes to blows to the face.

  • 4 Mar 2010

    Like some scriptural stories, Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-nominated film 'Inglourious Basterds' is an extravagant revenge fantasy-cum-joke. But who's laughing, asks Mark Bilby, why and to what affect?

  • 4 May 2009

    Many who have committed their lives to working for change and justice in the world simply dismiss Jesus' teachings about nonviolence as impractical idealism, says Walter Wink. This is because they have not understood their true subversive nature and context.

  • 22 Oct 2008

    James Bond may be fantasy, but according to an army expert our media replicate many of the psychological tech­niques used by the military to over­come our resistance to killing, says Giles Fraser. No wonder the murder rate is rising among the young.

  • 14 Jun 2007

    What is really at stake in the row between Sony and Manchester Cathedral over a violent video game? Simon Barrow looks at it in terms of Christendom, 'redemptive violence', image as commodity and the onset of the hyperreal.