Original Research

The ambivalence of ritual in violence: Orthodox Christian perspectives

Marian G. Simion
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4526 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4526 | © 2017 Marian G. Simion | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2017 | Published: 28 April 2017

About the author(s)

Marian G. Simion, Harvard Divinity School, United States and Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This article demonstrates that ritual plays an ambivalent role in the interaction betweenreligion and violence. Ritual triggers and gives meaning to violence, or it enforces peace andcoexistence. The first part of the article defines the ambivalence of ritual in the context ofviolence. The second part surveys standard rituals of peace and violence from Hinduism,Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The third part focuses on the ambivalent natureof Orthodox Christian rituals.


ritual; violence; peace; worship; world religions; Orthodox Christianity; war; army


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