Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Myth of Redemptive Violence

From the late pastor, theologian, activist and prophet Walter Wink:

In short, the Myth of Redemptive Violence is the story of the victory of order over chaos by means of violence. It is the ideology of conquest, the original religion of the status quo. The gods favour those who conquer. Conversely, whoever conquers must have the favour of the gods. The common people exist to perpetuate the advantage that the gods have conferred upon the king, the aristocracy, and the priesthood.

Religion exists to legitimate power and privilege. Life is combat. Any form of order is preferable to chaos, according to this myth. Ours is neither a perfect nor perfectible world; it is theatre of perpetual conflict in which the prize goes to the strong. Peace through war, security through strength: these are the core convictions that arise from this ancient historical religion, and they form the solid bedrock on which the Domination System is founded in every society.

- from Facing the Myth of Redemptive Violence


  1. This is powerful stuff. It is so true. I live in a very conservative religious region. It is amazing how much "might is right" is ingrained in things here. In many ways, this article naming this has awakened me to this worldview.

  2. Wink's Series on The Powers is an excellent exploration of oppressive and repressive structures in light of the New Testament and Gnostic writings on the Archons.


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