Talk:Religious violence

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In AD 326, the Christianizator of Rome Saint Constantine the Great promulgated a law that increased the penalties for things related to personal life, for parentally non-sanctioned "abduction" of their girls, and concomitant sexual intercourse/rape. The man would be burnt alive without the possibility of appeal, and the girl would receive the same treatment if she had participated willingly. Nurses who had corrupted their female wards and led them to sexual encounters would have molten lead poured down their throats.[1] In the same year, Constantine also passed a law that said if a woman married her own slave, both would be subjected to capital punishment, the slave by burning.[2] In AD 390, Emperor Theodosius issued an edict against male prostitutes and brothels offering such services; those found guilty should be burned alive.[3]

Eastern Orthodox

Some kings with sadistic deeds as Vlad Tepes had ascended to the throne through divine right of kings. Ivan the Terrible, who ordered the building of the Saint Basil's Cathedral, was a devoted[4] religious person and placed the most emphasis on defending the divine right of the ruler to unlimited power under God. [5] Some scholars explain the sadistic and brutal deeds of Ivan the Terrible with the religious concepts of the 16th century.[6] This includes burning or drowning the victims or roasting alive people, or tortured with boiling or freezing water, which corresponds to torments of Hell, consistent with Ivan's view of being God's representative on Earth with a sacred right and duty to punish, he may also have been inspired by the model of Archangel Michael with the idea of divine punishment.[6] He was now a "divine" leader appointed to enact God's will, as "church texts described Old Testament kings as 'Tsars' and Christ as the Heavenly Tsar."[7] The newly appointed title was then passed on from generation to generation: "succeeding Muscovite rulers ... benefited from the divine nature of the power of the Russian monarch ... crystallized during Ivan's reign."[8] The massacre of Novgorod consisted of men, women and children were tied to sleighs, which were then run into the freezing waters of the Volkhov River, which Ivan ordered on the basis of unproved accusations of treason and tortured its inhabitants and killed thousands in a pogrom there, the archibishop was also hunted to death.[4] Ivan often disposed his rape victims by having them hanged, strangled, buried alive or thrown to the bears.[4]

In a process referred to as "Russian inquisition" some heretics were persecuted. The Bishop of Vladimir Feodor turned some people into slaves, others were locked in prison, cut their heads, burnt eyes, cut tongues or crucified on walls. According to an inscription of Khan Mengual-Temir, Metropolitan Kiril was granted the right to heavily punish with death for blasphemy against the Orthodox Church or breach of ecclesiastical privileges. He advised all means of destruction to be used against heretics, but without bloodshed, in the name of 'saving souls'. Heretics were drowned. Novgorod Bishop Gennady Gonzov turned to Tsar Ivan III requesting the death of heretics. Gennady admired the Spanish inquisitors, especially his contemporary Torquemada, who for 15 years of inquisition activity burned and punished thousands of people. As in Rome, persecuted fled to depopulated areas. The most terrible punishment was considered аn underground pit, where rats lived. Some people had been imprisoned and tied to the wall there, and had reconstructed their dismembered body after their death.[9] The order was that even those renouncing completely their beliefs and baptized in the state Church must be lynched without mercy. The writer Lomonosov opposed the religious teachings and by his initiative a scientific book against them was published. The book was destroyed, the Russian synod insisted Lomonosov's works to be burned and requested his punishment.

Amosov describes the inquisition in Russia as follows:

"...They were cutting heads, hanging, some by the neck, some by the foot, many of them were stabbed with sharp sticks and impaled on hooks. This included the tethering to a ponytail, drowning and freezing people alive in lakes. The winners did not spare even the sick and the elderly, taking them out of the monastery and throwing them mercilessly in icy 'vises'. The words step back, the pen does not move, in eternal darkness the ancient Solovetsky monastery is going. Of the more than 500 people , only a few managed to avoid the terrible court."[10]


  1. ^ Law text found in Pharr (2001), pp. 244–245 The full law was changed in context to the penalties just 20 years later by Constantine's son, Constantius II, for free citizens aiding and abetting in the abduction, to an unspecified "capital punishment". The full severity of the law was to be kept, however, for slaves. p. 245, ibidem
  2. ^ Law text in Codex Justinianus 9.11.1, as referred to in Winroth, Müller, Sommar (2006), p. 107
  3. ^ Pickett (2009), p. xxi
  4. ^ a b c Hays, Jeffrey. IVAN THE TERRIBLE | Facts and Details. 
  5. ^ "Ivan IV | tsar of Russia". Encyclopedia Britannica. 
  6. ^ a b Perrie, Maureen; Pavlov, Andrei. Ivan the Terrible. Routledge. ISBN 9781317894674. 
  7. ^ Bogatyrev, Sergei (2006). "10. Ivan IV (1533–1584)". In Maureen Perrie. The Cambridge History of Russia. Vol. 1: From Early Rus' to 1689. Cambridge Histories Online. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.011. ISBN 0-521-81227-5
  8. ^ Bogatyrev, Sergei 1584
  9. ^ А.С.Пругавин, ук. соч., с.27-29
  10. ^ Ал. Амосов, “Судный день”, в списание “Церковь” № 2, 1992, издателство “Церковь”, Москва, с.11

This cites several "primary sources" and interprets them. Wikipedia editors cannot add their own interpretations to Wikipedia - we call this original research and it not allowed in policy.

Additionally several of these citations are insufficient to allow others to find these source cited to verify the content from it. Jytdog (talk) 15:55, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Aren't primary sources only ancient sources? All ten sources are by modern authors(except the first and second source although interpreted by secondary authors), so they should be secondary sources(I suggest). Secondly, what exactly is my interpretation? I suggest to remove such a part.-- (talk) 18:23, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
The answer to your first question is "no". Just to focus on the first part, supported by the first source. First, there is no such word as "Christianizator" in English. Second and this is the really important part, the source itself says nothing about religion, or god or even Constantine as a Christianizator. It is just a law about rape -- the connection between this law and religion, and also the connection between this law and violence (and thus the placement of this content here in the article about "religious violence") is entirely yours. You cannot do this in Wikipedia. This is WP:SYN. If you were citing a source that was by a scholar, writing about this law as an example of religious violence, and you were summarizing that source, it would be OK. That is not what is happening in the content above.
Much of the same is going on elsewhere. References 9 and 10 are insufficiently cited. Jytdog (talk) 21:33, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Could you try to change the passage so that it can fit the way you believe is correct? I will then cite ref 9 and 10. -- (talk) 21:45, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Substitutions suggested for ref1 and ref2 if the sentences are not deleted [1][2][3] They explain that the violent punishments were at least influenced by Christianity.-- (talk) 22:17, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
So let's talk about pthis diff. You introduced a new source there - this one. Please tell me, what does that source say about crucifixion, gladiator fights as a punishment, and the practice of infant exposure? Jytdog (talk) 02:33, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Remove religion-specific content?[edit]

I suggest removing all of the sections of this article pertaining to specific religions. This information is better covered in other articles, and surveying every religious tradition results in articles such as this becoming too long. I suggest that this article can properly include discussions of the relationship of violent behavior to beliefs in monotheism, divine revelation, exclusive understandings of the afterlife, otherworldliness, or any other broader category which can reasonably claim the term "religion". Of course, I recognize that particular arguments may apply to particular identified religions to varying degrees. What do other editors think? Sondra.kinsey (talk) 03:35, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer[edit]

I removed the following from the article:

I don't doubt that Nelson-Pallmeyer is noteworthy and has relevant things to say on the topic, but I'm not sure it's fair to call him a "critic of religion" (he's Lutheran), and the quote doesn't seem to support the claim, so I decided to remove it pending further review and rewording. Sondra.kinsey (talk) 18:56, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

I agree with your judgement about the interpretation of the quote, howeve he does opine a bit earlier "Violence is at the heart of monotheistic faith". Staszek Lem (talk) 20:26, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
P.S. After reading from the source I conclude that JN-P is an idiot: "Active nonviolence is an effective means to confront evil, resist injustice, defend territory, thwart enemies, and establish peace." - Really? After seeing that I fail to see whether he is a recognized expert in religious scholarship. The whole book is one huge sermon with not a shred of analysis. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:39, 20 July 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack (2005). Is religion killing us?: violence in the Bible and the Quran. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 136. ISBN 9780826417794.