Many Christians are pacifists - although many wars have been fought in the name of Christianity!
- Christian teachings - support both Holy war and just war theory
- Holy war - an arguement - can be necessary and right to used physical violence- to defend a religion
- Not all denominations agree - holy war - although there are examples in the bible - Joshua + the battle of Jericho.
- The most significant Holy war - christians - Crusades
- From 1101-1271 _ nine crusades
- largely based on the belief of christian europe that is should take back the Holy Land - Jerusalem from the Muslims. - battles were unsuccesful - frequently the crusaders did not reach the Holy land.
- Cathar crusade - fought by the ROMAN CATHOLICS - against -christian group - considered to be heretical ( did not hold traditional christian views)
- Many Christians today - would not support a Holy War
Just war theory
The idea of the Just War which is fought according to particular conditions developed from the ideas of Cicero. Thomas Aquines and Hugo Grotius. There are three criteria:
1. Jus ad bellum 2.Jus in bello 3. jus post bellum
- Jus ad bellum : rules which state weather it is right to go to war
- Just case to go to war
- The injustices suffered by one group must clearly be greater than those of the other group
- There must be a resonable chance of success.
- Jus in Bello: rules which define the correct conduct of war
- war must only be fought against enemy soliders , civilians must be protected
- Minimum force - limit unnecessary death and destruction
- Jus post bellum: rules which state how peace must be established after the war
- There must be no revenge taken
- Peace terms must be made and accepted by legitimate authorites
Violence and Pacifism
Christianty teaches that people should work towards a peaceful world and that fighting is always essentially evil. While some may feel that there are occasions when a war is just , others such as a member of the Religious Society of Friends ( Quakers) are pacifists and may become conscientious objectors.
- Christian pacifists argue that the Christain principle of AGAPE - selfless love - violence never acceptable
- Pacifists - Quakers
- Quakers belief - any type of violence is wrong because they see God within every living being and to harm anyone harms God.
- Jesus preaches need for peace - 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God' (Matthew 5:9)
- Jesus is seen as a man of peace - entered Jerusalem - would not allow violence to be used when he is arrested - ' for all who draw the sword , will die by the sword' ( Matthew 26:52 )
- However there scenes which shows jesus to be acting in a violent manner.
- Attitudes of christians towards violence and pacifism - based biblical teachings.
Justice and the aims of punishment
The christian concept of justice is based on teachings from both old and new testament adn this concept afftects their attitudes to punishment which they believe has four main aims! Prudence,Temperance, Fortitude and Justice
- Concept of God justice :
- 'Your eyes are open at all the ways of men ; you reward everyoen according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve'
- 'Anyone that does wrong will pay for his wrong , and there is no favouritism'
- Quotes show - God wants people to reward and punish justly as god would do.
- Christain teachings of forgivness : Jesus told Peter to forgive ' seven times seven'( parable of the lost son )
- Christians belief aims of punichment are :
Some Christians still believe that capital punishment is the only way to deal with the most serious crimes. But Jesus's teachings taught that human life should be treated as sacred so criminals should be treated justly - never right to take a life
Treatment of Criminals
Although Christians think they should be punished appropriately for the crimes they have comminted, they also think criminals should be forgiving for their wrongdoings and be restored to society after they have been punished. They think criminals should not be mistreated in prison and Jesus taught that everyone should be treated humanely.
- Forgiveness - soesnt mean no punishment - people should be punished fairly for there crimes- if the repent and ask for forgiveness - they should be forgiven - after beening punished.
- Many christians - concern for the way prisoners are treated ( christians were comanded by Jesus to look after the weak and prisoners)
- Many christians work with prisoners and help then to lead a better life once they have left the prison and vist them in prison - parable of the sheep and the goat.
' Love your neighbour'
'Treat those how you wish to be treated'
Beliefs and responses to social injustice
The phrase 'social injustice' is ofen used when some people are seen to be discriminated against in a society and have fewer rights or benefits than others.
- Social injustice - poverty , racism, oppression by goverment and unfair inprisonment.
- Social injustice is wrong - all life was created by god and is therefore equally valuable to god and should show the same respect
- Some Christains respond - working for organisations - salvation army