Recovering the Vertical

PhaenEx 13 (2):62-85 (2020)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between religion and violence from a phenomenological point of view. In the context of the so-called "return of the religious" and the crisis of contemporary social imaginaries, it deals with the supposedly disruptive and liberating potentials of religion in general, and religious violence in particular. The discussion revolves around the concept of "verticality" as developed by A. Steinbock and offers a generative interpretation of verticality's liberating and transformative potentials. The paper proceeds to demonstrate how religion and violence are interrelated on a variety of levels. In conclusion the author argues that we need to understand the relationship between religion and violence in terms of its contingent actualization and display but must avoid pitting it down as an essential feqture of religious systems of knowledge and practice.

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Michael Staudigl
University of Vienna

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