Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the religious hero



Heroism is generally defined within a moral context, which means that in any society steeped in a religious tradition which creates that moral context, a hero is by extension a hero of religion. Integral to this religiously inspired definition of heroism is the division of humanity into the good and the bad, a dichotomy that extends at least as far back as the story of the Garden of Eden. Under this religiously projected dichotomy, the religious hero is always a "righteous" warrior opposing "evil" men.


The religions with which we are most familiar, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, all project this idea of human separation along with a warrior mentality. Their religious practice of labeling people and promoting belligerence lends a religious cover to a multitude of violent acts by defining them as a righteous response to evil. In the final analysis, our religious traditions are in the background of most acts of violence, whether viewed as righteous or not. Religion becomes the institution that sanctions violence, excusing some as honorable and denouncing others as despicable. In the process they define heroes and villains, claiming God as their witness.