NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- There's a conventional wisdom when it comes to the difference between religious and secular institutions, says William Cavanaugh: "Religions are more prone than secular institutions to violence."
Just call to mind your history lessons of the so-called religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. Or current images of violence in the Middle East.
But those images don't capture the whole picture, the DePaul University theology professor said in the opening presentation of the College Theology Society's annual convention here last night. In fact, he argued, "There is no good reason for thinking that religious ideologies and institutions are more inherently prone to violence."