Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1376

Related Terms


Violence is the use of physical or verbal force or exploitation against self, others, or property whose effect is bodily or psychological harm. As a human action of hostility and aggression, violence needs to be distinguished from other events, including natural disasters or accidents, that might also cause injury, damage, trauma, loss of life, or property, but whose cause is ontic or physical evil.

Violence is an act that goes against human dignity and reason, and from a religious perspective, even against divine law. However, the interpretation of actions as reasonable or otherwise – and consequently as morally good, evil, or neutral – is, to some extent, culturally and historically conditioned. At different points in history, and in different cultural contexts, actions that today would indisputably be considered to be violent and immoral were tolerated and even normative, for example, slavery.

The ambiguity of violence lies...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Moral Theology, Faculty of TheologyUniversity of MaltaTal-QroqqMalta