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Violence: Reflections from a Christian Perspective. by Jacques. Ellul

By Jacques. Ellul

On a subject matter that has created substantial uncertainty and uneasiness between many Christians, Jacques Ellul brings to undergo the daring research and the intense readability of argument which are linked to his exclusive reports on modern social questions. After surveying traditionally a number of the methods of Christians to violence, Ellul examines intensive present statements via Christians condoning or accepting violence. He then contrasts, with penetrating perception, the dynamics of violence and the transparent calls for of the Gospel. In a concluding bankruptcy he eloquently units forth the actually targeted nature of Christian radicalism and the violence of affection. Of convenience to neither correct nor Left as such, this Gospel-centered examine of the advanced factor of violence today-deftly translated through Cecilia Gaul Kings-is a forceful, unique contribution to the continued dialogue of the problem in church and society.

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Additional info for Violence: Reflections from a Christian Perspective.

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It is true that some Christians have made this teaching an excuse for doing nothing; for since God is the guarantor and the founder of justice, the establishment of social justice can be left to him. But they knew that this was a wretched excuse, a shabby evasion. With the death of God, however, we can expect nothing from any source but ourselves. We ourselves must undertake to establish social justice. A posi Today's Christians for Violence 77 tion that is certainly courageous and, humanly speaking, valid.

Finally, the third orientation toward violence. This is exemplified by a small group of French Franciscans and their publication, Freres du Monde. ) These Franciscans are at the extreme limit of Christian revolutionary thought. " A clear statement of the conviction latent in Shaull's writings; namely, that revolution is Today's Christians for Violence 57 more fundamental than the faith. But does Father Maillard really believe that one must choose between the Christian faith and revolutionary violence?

Violence is its natural condition, as Thomas Hobbes saw clearly. The individual, be realized, bad to be protected against violence. Starting out from this premiss, he came to the conclusion that only an absolute, all-powerful state, itself ' See, for example, Leonard Reissman, Class in American Society (New York: Macmillan, 1959). 88 Violence using violence, could protect the individual against society's violence. In support of Hobbes's conclusion I could cite a vast company of modern sociologists and philosophers.

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