Infused With Faith: Ritual and Conflict

The Huffington Post:

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks begin this week, and it’s fair to say that attitudes range from guardedly hopeful to sneeringly cynical. After all, this conflict has been going on since the mid-20th century, with a lot of dashed promises along the way. It was just a year ago that missiles from Gaza were raining down daily on Israel.

All of the final status issues are on the table, both sides agree — land, borders, settlements, Jerusalem. It’s widely assumed that the animosity and conflict between Palestine and Israel are fueled by these geopolitical issues, rather than by clashing religious values. That is, most believe that competition over resources is the core issue dividing the two groups — groups who also happen to have different religions.

Arizona State University psychological scientist Steven Neuberg and colleagues have been studying what they call “religious infusion” — the extent to which religion permeates a group’s private and public life. Religious infusion is not tied to any particular religious belief, nor is it a necessary feature of any religion, but any religion might be highly infused throughout a given society.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology. Follow Wray on Twitter @wrayherbert.

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