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Contribution to Book
"The Myth of Religious Violence"
The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence (2011)
  • William T. Cavanaugh
  • myth of religious violence;Ward,
  • in defining religion - Oxford English Dictionary definition of religion,
  • Christianity and belief in Superman;substantivists regarding religion - as basic,
  • transhistorical and transcultural feature of human life;substantivists,
  • restricting religion to beliefs and practices - like “God” or “gods”;functionalists,
  • definitions of religion not on substance - but on the way it functions;functionalist accounts,
  • based on empirical observations - of people's actual behavior;studying violence under the rubric of religion - simply unjustifiable;histories of religion - functionalism,
  • fatal problems with substantivist accounts of religion;history of the category - religion existing,
  • as a constructed category;power and religious/secular distinction - substantivist conceptions,
  • not neutral descriptions of reality
Publication Date
Andrew R. Murphy
Citation Information
William T. Cavanaugh. ""The Myth of Religious Violence"" OxfordThe Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence (2011)
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