By looking at the relation between beliefs and politics we can begin to see how religious beliefs often take on a political nature – sometimes violent and sometimes peaceful. We can also begin to see how often these beliefs develop because of a vacuum in the secular world.
As a way of illustrating this Dr Alexandre Christoyannopoulos explored with us “Christian Anarchism” because it highlights many of these points.
Talk of religion and politics tends to conjure up images and memories of religious intolerance and political violence, especially if the word 'radical' is added in. Yet many religious radicals are non-violent.
Gandhi, for instance, was a strictly non-violent religious and political radical. What few people know is that his inspiration for this strict non-violence was Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy.
These slides are associated with a webinar where we discussede nonviolent religious radicalism using Tolstoy and others Christian anarchists as a starting point in order to reflect more broadly on the interaction of religion and politics, on where that leaves the intentions of secularism, and on why nonviolent activism tends to be eclipsed by violent alternatives.