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“Is Religion Really Violent: Past and Present Perspectives.” A lecture by Karen Armstrong as part of The New Archaic

NOW. Constructing Contemporaneity Festival
4 November 2016


As part of the thematic block The New Archaic, religious historian Karen Armstrong will discuss the increasing role religion plays in our life as a problem that worries society. However, regarding religion as a social threat may be even more dangerous.

It is often said that religion is prone to violence and intolerance and should, therefore, be carefully excluded from political and public life. Those who hold this view cite the Crusades, the Inquisition and Jihad. But the reality is more complex. If we continue to ascribe the atrocities of al-Qaeda and ISIS wholly to religious fanaticism, we may be closing our minds to inconvenient truths that we ignore at our peril.


Karen Armstrong is a world renowned religious historian, author of many publications on comparative religious studies, translated into forty languages, including A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence and other books that have been published in Russian.


COLTA.RU — Russia’s main independent portal for arts, culture and society. A public-funded website, founded in 2012.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation — Renowned German foundation with offices around the world. Since 1997, the foundation has supported social and cultural projects promoting democratic values, ecology, gender and ethnic equality.


Admission free

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