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Within a single religious tradition: Scholars such as Gerrie ter Haar and R. Scott Appleby emphasize what they refer to as the “ambiguous” or “ambivalent” role of religion in conflict situations. Adherents of the same religion, they observe, may interpret their religion in quite contrary ways on matters of conflict and peace, with one group finding justification for violent conflict and another group experiencing the same faith tradition as a powerful call to work for peace and justice by peaceful means. Using the notion of “ambiguity” and “ambivalence” as a lens for your analysis, compose an essay that explores at least two different faces of a single religious tradition. As you research and compose your essay, consider the following:
a.Is there a contemporary case of conflict that serves to highlight the notion of “ambivalence” in a particularly compelling way? A situation in which prominent members of the same religious tradition took opposing stances?
b.Is the range of different peace positions within the religion best understood by comparing two different historical events, in which religious responses differed markedly?
c.If coreligionists are reading the same sacred texts, how can we account for their different interpretive choices and conclusions?




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