THE SACRED AND THE HUMAN
Roger Scruton is worth reading in this old article from 2008 on religion and conflict. Propect magazine have been digging up some of their best from over the years. This is one of them.
He makes quite a lot of the French anthropologist Rene Girard - who came up once in a Wychwood Circle discussion - and clearly sees him as a big influence on current religious thought. Girard also comes up a lot in the writings of the Catholic theologian James Alison. In this article Scruton is interested in Girard's argument that religion is not the cause of violence, but the solution to it.
In passing Scruton refers to caricatures of religion by people like Christopher Hitchens and sets the scene for his discusssion of "the anthropology of religion" by pointing out that post-Enlightenment thinkers realised that "religion is not, in essence, a matter of doctrine, but of something else. And they set out to discover what that might be..."