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"Whatever religious people may say about their love of God or the mandates of their religion, when their behavior toward others is violent and destructive, when it causes suffering among their neighbors, you can be sure the religion has been corrupted and reform is desperately needed. When religion becomes evil these five corruptions are always present. Conversely, when religion remains true to its authentic sources, it is actively dismantling these corruptions ... "
Religious persuasions are indisputably central factors in the escalation of evil and violence on the global scene, and hence a growing subject of popular concern and debate. Many argue that religion is the chief source of problems in the world today. Central to this debate is the need to distinguish between "corrupt" forms of religious expression and the "authentic" forms that offer real correctives and solutions to this global threat.

Religion and mid-East politics expert Charles Kimball offers a timely examination of the nature and signs of religious evil, while outlining the correctives to these corruptions within each of the major religious traditions. Grounded in his experience as a Christian working closely with Muslims and Jews at the intersections of politics and religion over the past twenty-five years, Kimball outlines a clear description of the five basic corruptions that manifest themselves in each of the major religious traditions. While no single tradition is exempt from these corruptions, each has the ability and means to identify and correct such tendencies within its own wisdom tradition. When Religion Becomes Evil offers a reliable guide to this urgent global issue, showing us that the ways in which people of faith understand and live out their deepest religious commitments will have profound consequences for the future of humanity.

© September 3, 2002 , Harper San Francisco
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