Violence is essential to religion, while religion holds the promise of transcending violence. The designation religious refers not to a type of violence, but to a specifc issue of violence, namely the claim to higher (theodical) justifcation. This religious aspect is not confned to religion; it is also evident in the secular domain. A critique of religious violence needs to show the gap between violence and its justifcations, experienced afectively in horror. This horror in response to the unspeakable
is structurally akin to mystical experience, the temporal structure of which indicates the failure of the theodical justifcation for violence.