Religion, peace and justice


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Attitudes towards war. Violence & Pacifism.

Holy War: argument that it may be necessary to use physical violence in order to defend a religion. 

Just War - limit effects of conflict

  • just cause for going to war
  • started by proper authority
  • Good chance of good results
  • last resort
  • Proportional force (cillivians protected) 

Pacifism (Quakers): Peace is the central belief.

  • Jesus - "Love your enemies" - Argue principle of agape (selfless love) means violence is not accepted. 
  • "If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap you on the left cheek too" Violence even in self defense is not accepted.
  • "All who draw the sword, will die by the sword
  • "Nation will not take up sword against nation" - Old Testament
  •  Alternative to war: e.g Bus boycott run by Martin Luther King

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Attitudes towards war. Violence & Pacifism.

For war:

  • Other Christians believe that when Jesus throw the money changers out of the temple he was using violence here, Christians say this is an act of Righteous anger.
  • "Prepare for war!" - Old Testament

Jesus teaches that you must always forgive. - Do not treat prisoners badly.

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Crime & Punishment

Justice: Fair treatment for all. One of the four cardinal virtues.

Punishment aims

  • Deterrence: deterrence person/other people from committing a crime
  • Protection
  • Retribution: So people can see the person has been punished
  • Reformation: chance to live a better life 

Jesus preaches forgiveness and justice where the accuser is not punishing someone when they are too a sinner - Woman stone story "If anyone of you is without a sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her".

Treatment of Criminals 

 Christians believe that if a sinner repents, they should be forgiven, however to protect the public imprisonment is the best option. Elizabeth Fry (quaker) tried to make sure prisoners had their basic human rights. - Carryed on by Howard League. 

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Capital Punishment

Some christians believe death is the only way to deal with most serious crimes, prevents them repeating crime.


  •  "The lord gave and the lord has taken away" - Job
  • Going against Gods plan "All the days ordered for me were written in your book" - Bible
  • "You shall not murder"
  • "Love your enemy" - Jesus 
  • Some Christians can not employ an executioner as they believe it is an unjust job. 

Most Christians follow Jesus's teachings of agape and forgiveness, that all human life is sacred so should not be destroyed.

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Social Injustice

"Love you neighbough as yourself"- No discrimination. This is shown in the New Testament & the Old. 

Many Christians join groups to take active action against discrimination e.g. Amnesty International.

Liberation Theology - Teaches that Christians have a obligation to oppose social injustice. - Roman Catholics & Protestant

Leaders of this movement in Latin America took part in armed uprisings against the govement. The current pope disagrees with this as he believes they went too far and abandoned Christian beliefs on peace.

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thanks. do you have more notes on this topic? :)

Jodie Randell

Making them at the moment :) So keep checking for updates as I am adding more cards

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