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The Josiah Effect: how moderate religion fuels fundamentalism

(56 Posts)
thatbags Wed 15-Jun-16 07:37:00

Here is a very interesting essay by Henry Rambow about how he thinks religious radicalisation happens and how it leads to terrorism. He speaks as someone who was a fundamentalist christian. He did not become a terrorist but he says he understands how easy it could be for young people to adopt violent ideologies and to act on them.

This is from near the end when he is concluding:
"...moderate religion primes children — by the millions, if not billions — from an early age to accept without question the authority of the very same books that serve as the basis for fundamentalist ideologies, and it teaches children that the gods described in those books are worthy of worship. This renders these children susceptible to fundamentalist ideology when, as young adults, they begin seeking a purpose for their lives."

grannyactivist Wed 15-Jun-16 19:42:19

In response to the OP it has been my experience that children in UK schools are explicitly taught to question all faiths as part of their RE syllabus. On Tuesday next week (if I can speak after my op) I will be joining several other faith representatives for an annual 'grilling' at my local secondary school, where the children are permitted to ask anything at all about my faith. They are taught to critically examine the tenets of all the major faiths and to understand the wider context of the religious/faith experience.

thatbags Wed 15-Jun-16 20:15:09

Catholic bishop acknowledges that many religions promote hatred for homosexuals, including the Catholic faith.…

Blinko Sat 18-Jun-16 07:16:04

It seems to me that religion is of interest as a topic for sociological study. I believe that it has been used as a method of control for thousands of years. The basic principle being, the more wretched is life on earth, the more passionate the belief in a 'better life' hereafter.

Was it Lenin who said, 'Religion is the opium of the masses'?

Quite right, imo.

gillybob Sat 18-Jun-16 07:33:01

I think a lot of religious fundamentalism stems from how individuals want to be seen be their peers. For example a father cannot be seen to tolerate his daughter having a boyfriend/close friendship with a boy and so he does what (he thinks) others expect of him and kills the daughter. This way he has proven his devotion to the religion. He does not allow fact that he knows it's wrong or that he loves his daughter to stop him doing what is "expected of him". Of course he is hallowed by his peers, they would have done exactly the same thing. Wouldn't they?

Daisyanswerdo Sat 18-Jun-16 19:15:21

'The mistake westerners are making is to delude themselves that these people appreciate the so-called tolerance of them - if the boot was on the other foot - they would not defend our rights.'

Thank you Sarah for making this point. IMO it's not expressed often or clearly enough, though perhaps it should also be stressed that there would be exceptions - many, I hope.