Killing in the Name of God: Addressing Religiously Inspired Violence
Robin Gill explores religiously inspired violence drawing on research into public attitudes on the topic. (2018)
‘Listen hard for the sacred story’. Elizabeth Oldfield on The Sacred Podcast for Church Times. 04/09/2018
WE ARE not very good at disagreeing. I don’t know if we have actually got worse at living with diversity, or our interconnected world just makes it more obvious, but our public debates don’t feel a lot of fun at the moment.
We have the “leader of the free world” spraying insults, Remainers and Brexiteers bickering like children on a long car journey, and a barely hidden undercurrent of racist and sexist abuse. Whether it is about anti–Semitism, transgender issues, or who gets to cook jerk rice, disagreement escalates quickly to all–out conflict. There seems to be a hidden “press for self–righteous rage” button somewhere that has got stuck in the “On” position.
We have started a podcast at Theos to try and make sense of what is going on. I had been on maternity leave, and decided to take an extended break from social media, and even the news. I would recommend this to anyone — but be prepared for the reverse culture shock. Debates that had been fractious months ago seemed suddenly feral; as inhospitable as the Wild West. For an organisation trying to inject a calm, informed, gracious Christian perspective into public debates, this matters.
The Sacred podcast is an attempt to explore what is driving this rush to name–calling and eye–rolling contempt, through interviewing a range of people from different beliefs and political perspectives.
Image from Church Times
Elizabeth is host of The Sacred podcast. She was Theos’ Director from August 2011 – July 2021. She appears regularly in the media, including BBC One, Sky News, and the World Service, and writing in The Financial Times.
Posted 4 September 2018
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Theos researches and investigates the intersection of religion, politics and society in the contemporary world.