My studies this semester are leading me to a closer examination of the nature of religious fundamentalism. I have a reading list that includes some of the best known athiests of this time such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. There are two questions that have been prompted for me this week:
Firstly, does fundamentalism always result in violence? I mean this to include spiritual and psychological forms of violence such as condemning people to Hell. Secondly, do religious moderates unwittingly align themselves with such violence by tolerating these views?
I have few doubts about the first question. I think there are clear links between fundamentalism, fear and insecurity. Its not a big step to see a variety of forms of religious violence being the outcome of this combination.
The second question is more challenging but unavoidable if we resolve the first in the affirmative. I suspect you'll see many more posts on this subject...