Christian Martyrdom and Christian Violence: On Suffering and Wielding the Sword32
Author: Matthew D. Lundberg
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What is the place-if any-for violence in the Christian life? At the core of Christian faith is an experience of suffering violence as the price for faithfulness, of being victimized by the world's violence, from Jesus himself to martyrs who have died while following him. At the same time, Christian history had also held the opinion that there are situations when the follower of Jesus may be justified in inflicting violence on others, especially in the context of war. Do these two facets of Christian ethics and experience present a contradiction?
Christian Martyrdom and Christian Violence: On Suffering and Wielding the Sword explores the tension between Christianity's historic reverence for martyrdom (suffering violence for faith) and Christianity's historical support of a just war ethic (involving the inflicting of violence). While the book considers the possibility that the two are unreconcilable, it also argues that they are ultimately compatible; but their compatibility requires a more humanized portrait of the Christian martyr as well as a stricter approach to the justified use of violence.
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