Psychology of Religion, Violence, and Conflict Resolution


Ilongo Fritz Ngale
National University of Lesotho, Roma, Maseru, Lesotho & Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa, University of South Africa, UNISA

Series: Psychology of Emotions, Motivations and Actions, Religion and Society
BISAC: PSY015000

Psychology of religion, violence, and conflict resolution highlights the causes of intrareligious and interreligious violence, and proposes dual models for understanding the latter, for facilitating moral regeneration, universal peaceful coexistence, and holistic individual and collective flourishing.

Religious violence, especially and paradoxically perpetrated by persons identifying with specific religious movements, has made religion an enigma, with a progressively controversial status. In other words, intrareligious and interreligious violence is associated with some of the bloodiest episodes of humankind’s tragic history, and it is on this basis that understanding the fundamental causes of religious strife becomes a vital preoccupation of researchers, decision makers and the general public, beyond and above religious obeisance, or total absence of any. Furthermore, and more preoccupying, there is no space, time, or people of the world today, that are free of the modern day scourge of religious violence. Humankind all over the earth finds itself having to confront this modern day gorgon, which is faceless, non-discriminatory, and brutally ruthless, a far cry from the myth and deontology of religion as the “link between humankind and a higher source of being and goodwill.”

Psychology of religion, violence, and conflict resolution unveils the psychological mind-set lurking in the bloody shadows of intrareligious and interreligious violence, activated through the prisms of exclusivism, sectarianism, fundamentalism, intolerance, extremism, hate speech, virulent condemnation of heresy, all culminating in self-righteous “murders in God’s Name.” The work is not fatalistic and pessimistic though because it highlights the possibility of individual and collective moral regeneration via the Greater and Lesser Jihad, or self-sacrifice and selfless service, grounded in the realization of the inalienable unity of being, for the preservation and unlimited flourishing of all creation. The climax of the work is the projection of a non-mythical but highly probable and limitlessly sustainable “golden age,” to be actualized when the preconditions of goodwill, peaceful coexistence, mental illumination, and selfless service become cornerstones of a holistic, universalistic, communalistic, and humanistic ethic of being, knowing, and doing.

The book represents a unique and most timely contribution to research and literature on religion, violence, and conflict resolution, and is intended to become a vital resource and reference material for students, researchers, professionals, national and international decision makers, non-governmental organizations, religious and non-denominational bodies, which advocate for intrareligious and interreligious dialogue, reconciliation, peaceful coexistence, and individual and collective flourishing.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part One: The Darkest Night: Understanding Intrareligious and Interreligious Violence

Chapter 1. The Enabling Core of Religious Violence

Chapter 2. The Neutral Dimension of Religious Violence

Chapter 3. The Sustaining Dimension of Religious Violence

Chapter 4. The Reinforcing Dimension Of Religious Violence

Part Two: Dawn of the Universal Culture: The Integral Model for Transiting from Intrareligious and Interreligious Violence to a Universal Mindset

Chapter 5. Enabling the Transition to Peace

Chapter 6. The Neutral Dimension of the Transition to Peace

Chapter 7. Reinforcing the Transition to Peace

Chapter 8. Botho as Goodwill Ethos

Chapter 9. Khotso or Purification and Pacification of Hearts

Chapter 10. Pula or Mental Illumination

Chapter 11. Nala or the Advent of the Golden Age



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