Can Rioting Bring 'Spiritual Release'?
Hugely destructive, ruthlessly violent ... What do you think caused the riots in the UK last summer?
As part of the Church of England's response to the riots, the Bishop of Bath and Wells has said that rioters are seeking 'spiritual escape.' The Rt Rev Peter Price condemned the violence but said many young people are simply longing to escape a constrained and difficult life.
His words echoed those of the Roman Catholic priest, Father Austen Smith who in the 1980s after the Toxteth riots said that rioting can be 'an ecstatic spiritual experience.'
The Rt Rev Peter Price added that the riots should warn us of the consequences austerity measures have upon the most vulnerable. Young people joining in the violence was a way of being taken 'out of themselves,' a way of escape.
Living in community enables us to look beyond ourselves and be part of something greater. If these young people were drawn into community they might be less likely to riot ...
What are your thoughts?