Tag: Violence

  • The Word “Violence” (2)

    Here is Galtung’s first definition of violence, as appeared in “Violence, Peace, and Peace Studies,” published in 1969: As a point of departure, let us say that violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations. (1969: 168) This is an ambitious definition. […]

  • The Word “Violence” (1)

    Language is perhaps the most important of all cultural innovations achieved by the human species. Yet, it isn’t perfect. Vagueness, the catalyst that helps generate most of our misunderstandings and misinterpretation, seems part of the very fabric of language. We recognize this fact when we meditate upon any widely-used word; for, upon closer inspection, it […]

  • The Rules of War

    In his Oslo speech delivered after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the US President Barak Obama emphasized the need for warring nations–especially the United States of America–to follow the rules of war. These rules, sometimes collectively referred to as jus in bello, deal with the limits of morally acceptable conduct between belligerent parties during periods of armed […]

  • Religion and Organized Violence (4)

    If terrorism is defined from the viewpoint of its victims, in terms of the intense fear that it creates in those who are targeted, then it could hardly be disputed that a typical modern state enjoys a power and a capacity to terrorize that is thousands of times greater than the power and the capacity for doing the same that is possessed by all terrorist groups combined.

  • Religion and Organized Violence (3)

    No bombs are smart enough to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent, between the dangerous and the powerless. By manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, including missiles, cluster bombs, and landmines, we all give our tacit assent to the killing of civilians.

  • Religion and Organized Violence (2)

    In our everyday world, we are all familiar with the linguistic reality that “terrorism” is a bad word and “terrorists” are bad people. On the other hand, “war” is usually a good word, or at least a neutral word, and “warriors” are frequently our greatest heros.

  • Religion and Organized Violence (1)

    To say that religion is a set of human phenomena is to emphasize that it is too nebulous and too fuzzy to be captured and imprisoned in a net of rigid categories.

  • Do Angels Read Newspapers?

    And [recall] when your Lord said to the angels: “I am going to place a viceroy in the earth.” They said, “Will you place in it someone who will wreak corruption in it and shed blood? While we glorify you with praise and declare you holy?” He said: “I know what you do not know.” […]