Can rioting be a 'spiritual experience'?
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11 months ago, the public couldn’t quite believe what was happening on the streets of the UK. Feelings of outrage were felt towards the rioters but since then there has been no definitive answer as to why they rioted in the first place. But does calling it a ‘spiritual experience’ give it meaning? These are the terms used by the Right Reverend Peter Price. A recent Church report blames the whole of society for last summer’s events, as an ever-increasing divide is separating the rich from the poor. Government spending cuts, inequality and family breakdowns are particularly thought to contribute to a gap which has left many feeling vulnerable and desperate. These are the people that many of us saw on our TV screens wreaking havoc on the high street, as they searched for an escape from their dead-end lives. Calling it a spiritual experience seems to be taking it a bit too far. That would bring God and religion into the matter and no-one’s claiming that the riots had anything to do with that. However Reverend Price also calls it an ‘ecstatic’ experience in which ‘something is released in the participants which takes them out of themselves as a kind of spiritual escape.’
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