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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 30, Issue 1, 2018

Tony Svetelj
Pages 235-254

“Weak Thought” in the Face of Religious Violence
Perplexing Dimensions of Modernity and Globalization

Modern comprehension of religion and violence, particularly modern attitudes toward religious violence, is the main topic of this paper. Mainstream secularization theory states that religion triggers conflict, tension, oppression, violence, and even war. As a continuation of this theory, the “myth of religious violence” assumes that religion is intrinsically connected with terror. These two narratives provide no sufficient proof for their claim about the irrelevance of religion; nonetheless, these narratives are expressions of the human agent’s struggle in his/her search for meaning. Referring to Gianni Vattimo’s idea of weak thought (pensiero debole), this writing proposes a narrative that treats religious and spiritual dimensions of human identity as essential for human life, as a source of remarkable consolation and hope in enduring the terror of violence, and as an opening to the new transcendental dimension of the ultimate meaning of human life.