In the wake of a mass shooting at Michigan State University, and other acts of violence, Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery makes the case for reclaiming the healing power of religion. In his latest (Duke) Chronicle column "Religio and the breach," he writes:
There have to be multifaceted solutions to the pandemic of violence. One step or approach will not do. A part of the solution, I believe, is religio. Religio is the Latin word for religion. It is a part of Duke University’s motto—eruditio et religio. This is what Duke Chapel embodies, promotes, represents, and moderates on campus—religio at the center and heart of the university, architecturally and figuratively.
Even if you’re not a religious person in the traditional sense, remember that the etymological roots of religio mean “to bind” or “to tie together.” This is what religious practice should be all about—binding us to God and to one other. Again, even if you’re not into “God-talk,” the idea of being bound together can be a constructive aspiration in the face of a devastating social breach. Religio, therefore, is both theological and sociological....
Violence is forming a breach in the heart of America. Try religio to repair it. Religio is actually about the bond of love that ties us all together in the harmony of hope. It may be a healing source for this wounded world.
Read the column.