Christians And Violence


The beginning of the twenty-first century has been marked by terrorism, war, and violent persecution of religious minorities. Christians are to engage culture, but what do they do when that culture is violent? How are Christians to live in the midst of such horrors? Do they take up arms to defend themselves and others, or do they turn the other cheek? This course will examine Christian thinking and practice on militarism, the restraint of war and paths to peace, including just war, non-violence, pacifism and revolution.



  • to provide an understanding of how the church’s view of a Christian’s participation in warfare has developed and differed over the centuries
  • to examine various ways in which the church has attempted to live in and engage with the wider culture during specific military conflicts
  • to understand the process of theological development



  • to encourage students to reflect on and develop their own view of Christians and war
  • to nurture a sense of how to live in a culture of violence yet still be a faithful servant of Christ



  • to develop in each student an ability to assess documents and situations from an historical perspective
  • to develop the ability to think theologically about profoundly complex ethical issues
  • to sharpen rhetorical skills