This article demonstrates that ritual plays an ambivalent role in the interaction between
religion and violence. Ritual triggers and gives meaning to violence, or it enforces peace and
coexistence. The first part of the article defines the ambivalence of ritual in the context of
violence. The second part surveys standard rituals of peace and violence from Hinduism,
Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The third part focuses on the ambivalent nature
of Orthodox Christian rituals.
Dr Simion is participating in
the research project, ‘Political
Theology’, directed by Dr
Tanya van Wyk, Department
of Dogmatics and Christian
Ethics, Faculty of Theology,
University of Pretoria.