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Religion and Violence – The Conflicts of New Religions

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: February 6, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

New religious movements are movements of protest. They frequently stem from dissatisfaction with a dominant social code, but they can also express disagreement with the existing ideology of an established religion. And conflicts involving new religions are not just a matter of the past, according to Zdeněk Vojtíšek’s new monograph Nová náboženství a násilí (New Religions and Violence).

One of the many forms of such violence, the persecution of religions in Iran and China, will be discussed by the author, Professor Hana Sodeyfi, an expert on the Bahá'í faith, and Milan Kajínek, a member of the Falun Gong community.

The debate will be chaired by Religious Studies specialist Professor Pavel Hošek.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Karolinum publishing house.


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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„I am a child of the age of conceptual, rather than mystical, thought and therefore my god as well – if I am compelled to speak of him (which I do very unwillingly) – must appear as something terribly abstract, vague and unattractive. But it appears so only to someone I try to tell about him – the experience itself is quite vivid, intimate and particular, perhaps (…) more lively than for someone whose “normal” God is provided with all the appropriate attributes (which oddly enough can alienate more often than drawing one closer). And something else that is typical of my god: he is a master of waiting, and in doing so he frequently unnerves me. It is as though he set up various possibilities around me and then waited silently to see what I would do. (…) His Last Judgment is taking place now, continuously, always – and yet it is always the last: nothing that has happened can ever un-happen, everything remains in the “memory of Being” – and I too remain there – condemned to be with myself till the end of time – just as I am and just as I make myself.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

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