London Branch Seminar
Violence is essential to religion, while religion holds the promise of transcending violence. The designation religious refers not to a type of violence, but to a specific issue of violence, namely the claim to higher (theodical) justification. This religious aspect is not confined to religion; it is also evident in the secular domain. A critique of religious violence needs to show the gap between violence and its justifications, experienced affectively in horror. This horror in response to the unspeakable is structurally akin to mystical experience, the temporal structure of which indicates the failure of the theodical justification for violence.
Felix Ó Murchadha is a Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of Humanities at the National University of Ireland, Galway. A former Fulbright Scholar, he has published in the areas of Phenomenology (especially Heidegger, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Marion), the Philosophy of Religion and the Philosophy of Violence. His publications include The Time of Revolution: Kairos and Chronos in Heidegger (Bloomsbury, 2013), A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night (Indiana University Press, 2013) and “Violence and Responsibility” in K. Breen and A. Fives: Philosophy and Public Matters (London: Palgrave 2016)