Monday, February 22, 2010

Walter Wink on the Myth of Redemptive Violence:

[Editor's Note: Here is an exerpt from an Ariticle by Walter Wink I found. (Click here to read the rest of the article.)]

In short, the Myth of Redemptive Violence is the story of the victory of order over chaos by means of violence. It is the ideology of conquest, the original religion of the status quo. The gods favour those who conquer. Conversely, whoever conquers must have the favour of the gods. The common people exist to perpetuate the advantage that the gods have conferred upon the king, the aristocracy, and the priesthood.

Religion exists to legitimate power and privilege. Life is combat. Any form of order is preferable to chaos, according to this myth. Ours is neither a perfect nor perfectible world; it is theatre of perpetual conflict in which the prize goes to the strong. Peace through war, security through strength: these are the core convictions that arise from this ancient historical religion, and they form the solid bedrock on which the Domination System is founded in every society.

...[The Myth of Redemptive Violence] is as universally present and earnestly believed today as at any time in its long and bloody history. It is the dominant myth in contemporary America. It enshrines the ritual practice of violence at the very heart of public life, and even those who seek to oppose its oppressive violence do so violently.

We have already seen how the myth of redemptive violence is played out in the structure of children’s cartoon shows (and is found as well in comics, video and computer games, and movies). But we also encounter it in the media, in sports, in nationalism, in militarism, in foreign policy, in televangelism, in the religious right, and in self-styled militia groups. What appears so innocuous in cartoons is, in fact, the mythic underpinnings of our violent society.


Kickert said...

Ha... I have a blog post on the Myth of Redemptive Violence half written in my blog queue.

Good stuff.

Phil Strahm said...

But what do we do about it?

Can we ever turn from this ideology?

dan said...

Phil, Yes!

Wink has some stuff about this in his book Engaging the Powers...I havn't finished the book, but the first part of his theory is to realize that its in everything...starting with cartoons. i think we need to open our eyes to see the places that it exists in our own theology!