The French literary theorist/philosopher/theologian Rene Girard made a great contribution in our understanding of the alleged link between religion and violence. The story is far from simple, but Girard acknowledges a link exists. By the same token, there is much within secular culture that would also fit this “religious” pattern. What is also interesting is that, in spite of this link, the Judeo-Christian tradition stands apart from the smorgasboard of religions.
His theory is hard to follow, but a useful summary is provided by the Austrian theologian Wolfgang Palaver in a Eureka Street interview. The interview comes highly recommended, and you can see it by clicking here.