Cultural Transmission of Religious Violence: is It Inherited Or DiffusedBy Tomrees8
Some of these groups (around half), advocated the violent overthrow of government and existing churches to establish a theocracy. The other half, although often sharing the same ultimate goal, were non-violent.
Luke Matthews, an anthropologist at Harvard University, was interested in what governed whether a particular group was violent or pacifist.
In particular, he wanted to know if the most important factor was whether the parent group advocated violence, or whether the personal relationships between the groups that mattered more.
So he analysed the different groups, using a statistical technique borrowed from evolutionary biology, to see if inheritance was important. He also looked at whether the leaders of the congregations knew each other personally, and whether that had any influence over shared attitudes.
What he found was that, for violent beliefs, the most important factor was whether the groups shared a common inheritance. Violent groups, it seems, beget violent splinter groups.
That wasn't the case for other theological beliefs - for example, whether they observed Sabbath on a Saturday, or practised polygamy, or believed in purgatory. All of these were better explained by personal connections between group leaders.
So it seems that while religious ethical beliefs diffused from one group to another, attitudes towards violent revolution were inherited.
Quite why that would be is not clear - although ti me this suggests that attitudes towards violence must define what each group is about is some fundamental way. Whereas other beliefs are up for negotiation, belief in violence or pacifism is not.
Luke J. Matthewsa, Jeffrey Edmonds, Wesley J. Wildman, & Charles L. Nunn (2012). Cultural inheritance or cultural diffusion of religious violence? A quantitative case study of the Radical Reformation Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1-13 DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2012.707388
This article by Tom Rees was first published on Epiphenom. It is licensed under Creative Commons.
These articles might interest you :
Globalization has ensured that international borders are heavily relaxed so large and profitable domestic firms from one nation can pursue business interests... Read moreThe 28 May 2013 by The Conscience Blog
DEBATE, POLITICS, SOCIETY
Mother-Daughter Porn Duo Jessica Sexxxton, Monica Sexxxton Aiming To Be Filthy RichHuffington Post: A mother and daughter in Tampa, Fla. Read moreThe 09 December 2012 by Eowyn
By Dr. Zvonimir Paul Separovic (Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice, Republic of Croatia; ICD Advisory Board Member) Cultural diplomacy... Read moreThe 12 June 2012 by Cdnews
Many suspect that the man responsible for the shooting in a Wisconsin Sikh Temple in the US had mistaken them for Muslims. 6 people, including both the... Read moreThe 06 August 2012 by Jodylan89
Fr. Powell describes the insidious redefining of that which darkens the soul: Thriving among the Devil's fools are a whole circus of distractions, snares, and... Read moreThe 16 December 2012 by Brutallyhonest
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, today welcomed President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso. President Compaoré argues that his country can play a vital... Read moreThe 14 June 2012 by Cdnews
Historian, essayist, cultural gadfly and educator Jacques Barzun, who helped establish the modern discipline of cultural history, was probably best known for... Read moreThe 26 October 2012 by Btchakir
CELEB, CULTURE, SOCIETY
MOST POPULAR FROM DEBATE
- Florida 17-Year-old Charged with Manslaughter for Killing 14-Year-old - No Adults Charged by Mikeb302000
- Advice Column: Dear Cabby by Hughvw
- South Carolina Man Shoots Brother in the Face - He Was Negligent but No Charges Necessary by Mikeb302000
- Save American Defense from Obama’s Inept Leadership by Shahalexander
Hurricane Sandy Harry Potter Thanksgiving True Blood Samsung Mardi Gras John Galliano Economy Turkey Apple Egypt Valentine's Day Russia Apps European Union Climate Change Christmas Mali The Box Office Academy Awards China Rick Perry News Corp X-Factor North Korea Father's Day Barack Obama Halloween Lady Gaga Michelle Rodriguez
MOST RECOMMENDED IN DEBATE
- Powerful video of Black activists against Democrats by Eowyn
- Non-citizen voters gave Obama the edge in 2008 and 2012 — and will in 2014 if we don’t do something about it by Eowyn
- How America’s schools handled firearms in 1956 by Eowyn
- Charles Barkley Slams Unintelligent Blacks Who Try To Hold Back Other Blacks. by Eowyn
ON THE DEBATE FORUM
- Eric Frein, Dirty-diaper wearing domestic terrorist ... Reviewed by #freingate
- ‘Call female teachers SIR’, demand feminist ... Reviewed by Rick
- Obama purges another general: 20th Air ... Reviewed by Whiteyward