Religions, the Word and Peace Publication date : March 29, 2017
Claude Hagège is a linguist, an honorary professor at the Collège de France and winner of the CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre) gold medal. He has written a number of best-selling books: Le Français et les Siècles (“French through the Centuries”), Le Souffle de la langue (“The Breath of Language”), L’Enfant aux deux langues (“The Child with Two Tongues”), Halte à la mort des langues (“On the Death and Life of Languages”, Yale University Press, 2009), Combat pour le français (“The Fight for French”) and Contre la pensée unique (“Fighting Conformism”).
There is no known human community that does not present a belief in a super-human power overseeing personal actions and initiatives. Such beliefs have existed since time immemorial and around the globe. We can, therefore, conclude that they reflect a need that is inherent to our species, that in fact defines it.
One could also assume – but it would be naïve – that this universal need would bring people and communities together. Yet on the contrary, ancient, modern and contemporary history is filled with examples of violence that seems to know no bounds.
In this book, Claude Hagège devotes himself to observing and interpreting this phenomenon with the stunning talent and erudition for which he is known.
Of course, the author brings a particular focus to the power of words, investigating the reasons why different religions’ discourse, rather than contributing to peace, engenders dissension and violence.