There are many reasons for violence. Like an approaching thunderstorm is a clear indication of possible lightning to follow so the current world conditions is conducive for violence. Violence is inevitable and immanent in what Hans Achterhuis refers to as the ‘violent times we live in’. It is however impossible to predict where lightning will strike. Hans Achterhuis, a Dutch philosopher, utilises philosophy and fictional literature to illustrate the causes and effects of violence. In his book Met alle Geweld (2010) (Full Force of Violence), Achterhuis identifies six perspectives on violence: goal-orientated violence; struggle for recognition; polarity of us vs. them; mimetic desire; tension between morality and politics and the barbaric human nature. In the discourse on violence philosophers have the task to identify the possible localities where lightning might strike next and to warn, prevent and if not that at least suggest precautious measures – ‘installing lightning rods’. That is the purpose of the book by Achterhuis. Lightning has recently struck in Uganda. The author here looks at the occurrence of religiously inspired violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender communities (LGBT) in Uganda. The perspectives presented by Achterhuis are utilised in order to try and make sense of violence. The author suggests that discussion forums can serve as lightning rods preventing similar violent outbursts in communities in Southern Africa.
This article is based on a paper that was delivered at the 37th Conference of the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA), 26-28 October 2015, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.