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Swords into ploughshares? Ante-Nicene Christianity and the ethics of political violence

Gorry, J. (2011) Swords into ploughshares? Ante-Nicene Christianity and the ethics of political violence. Religion Compass. 5(12), pp. 763-771. 1749-8171.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Christian attitudes to power, politics, and violence have been complex and multifaceted for over two thousand years. On the one hand, the idea that all warfare is unjust might well originate with Christianity and its teachings; on the other hand, it is true that the Church’s policies have been sufficiently flexible for Christianity to become the great crusader religion. In this context there is a contrast in thinking between what Christianity was once presumed to be and what it became but perhaps ought not to be. It is traditionally accepted that during the Ante-Nicene Period (approximately its first three centuries) the Church was essentially pacifist before it was ‘militarised’ by Constantine’s unification of temporal and spiritual power in the early fourth century. The basic purpose of this review is to give a sense of the beliefs of Ante-Nicene Christianity, to test the historical validity of exemplary but competing claims, and by so doing expose and unpack the quintessential normative character of the debate
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity > BR115 Christianity in relation to special subjects
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics > BJ1188 Religious ethics
J Political Science > JC Political theory > JC328.6 Violence. Political violence
Creators: Gorry, Jonathan
Publisher: Blackwell
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Social Sciences (to 2016)
Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Applied Social Studies & Sociology
Date: 2 December 2011
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 763-771
Journal or Publication Title: Religion Compass
Volume: 5
Number: 12
Language: English
ISSN: 1749-8171
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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