Saturday, April 25, 2009

What you won't read on Shiraz Socialist, New Humanist blog and Harry's Place

Religion brings peace, says new research

Religion can help to reconcile hostile communities and bring about democracy, according to new research presented to the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Cardiff.
The paper, "Religion and peace processes: a conceptualisation", challenges the view that religion is an obstacle to peace between divided communities, or a cause of the problem. "If not portryaed as a benigh irrelevance, religion is depicted as a malign force," wrote authors Professor John Brewer and Dr Francis Teeney, both from the University of Aberdeen and Dr Gareth Higgins from the University of North Carolina.
The academics maintained that some social scientists believed religion "provokes governments, ethno-religious groups and various warlords to believe God is on their side in war". Examples where Churches have not helped include the Dutch Reformed Church, which supported apartheid in South Africa.
However, they observed that the Catholic Church was seen as a constructive influence, for example, when it supported the end of Communism* in Poland and and supported human rights in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Religious groups, they said, offered new ideas, acted as role models and negotiated and campaigned for peace.
(The Tablet 18 April 2009)
Erratum *The word "Communism" was of course incorrect since the neither the state, nor capitalism were abolished in post war Poland. We did of course mean to say "State Capitalism" or "Stalinism". We apologise for any distress we may have caused - Catherine Pepinster, Old Cliffite, London W6.

Letters to the editor

Your news report "Religion brings peace" was a typical example of the kind of heterodox neo-Protestant bitching about the Magisterium in which your flaccid organ periodically indulges. The principle Extra Ecclessiam Nulla Sallus which no Pope has yet abrogated means we must wage ceaseless war on all heretics, apostates, schismatics and ciabatta-chomping fancy-pants Tablet readers who live in Hampstead and picket churches celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass even while they ... cont for 94 paragraphs
Paul Priest

I read your report on religion and peace with much interest. I have worked for over a decade in conflict resolution between members of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice and the Bishops Conference and have found that inviting both parties to consider their differences in the context of a pillow fight most helpful. We give pillows names like "kumbaya" and "Mother Angelica live on EWTN" and allow Daphne McLeod and Bishop Kieran Conry to bash the living daylights out of each other. Feathers fly, the air is turned distinctly blue with swearwords and everyone feels so much the better for it!
(Fr) B Dotty SJ

What kind of world is it where law abiding citizens can't thwack anyone with a frying pan who terrifyingly threatens them a cup of tea and a slice of cake? Retrograde concepts like peace were invented by the religious to prevent us from bringing enlightened Western values to farthest corners of blogosphere.
Brett Lock
Harry's Place

Did anyone say inclusive?
Joanna Bogle
Thatcher's Bottom


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1/15/2010 4:10 AM  

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