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In Defence of War$
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Nigel Biggar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672615.001.0001

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Against Christian pacifism

Against Christian pacifism

(p.16) 1 Against Christian pacifism
In Defence of War

Nigel Biggar

Oxford University Press

In Defence of War intends to argue in favour of Christian just war reasoning. It is often supposed, however, that Christianity's original position was pacifist, and that Augustine's articulation of just war thinking in the early fifth century was the prime symptom of the church's lapse from its pristine state of grace. Whether any theory of just war may claim the title ‘Christian’ at all is controversial, therefore, and those that believe that it may, must fight for the right. This has always been the case, but it is all the more so now, when pacifism dominates the academic discipline of Christian ethics. For this reason, and because the Christian species of pacifism remains an influential one, this opening chapter is devoted to a critique of the pacifist thinking of Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard Yoder, and Richard Hays, especially their claim that the New Testament authorises an ethic of non‐violence.

Keywords:   Stanley Hauerwas, Richard Hays, New Testament, non‐violence, pacifism, John Howard Yoder

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