Sunday, January 21, 2024

Spiritual Quote of the Day (Karen Armstrong, on When Religion ‘Put a Brake on Violence’)

“It is simply not true that ‘religion’ is always aggressive. Sometimes it has actually put a brake on violence. In the ninth century BCE, Indian ritualists extracted all violence from the liturgy and created the ideal of ahimsa, ‘nonviolence.’ The medieval Peace and Truce of God forced knights to stop terrorizing the poor and outlawed violence from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Most dramatically, after the Bar Kokhba war, the rabbis reinterpreted the scriptures so effectively that Jews refrained from political aggression for a millennium. Such successes have been rare. Because of the inherent violence of the states in which we live, the best that prophets and sages have been able to do is provide an alternative.”—Religious scholar Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (2014) 

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