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Beyond Violence

Religious Sources of Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

James Heft

Publication Year: 2004

In an age of terrorism and other forms of violence committed in the name of religion, how can religion become a vehicle for peace, justice, and reconciliation? And in a world of bitter conflicts-many rooted in religious difference-how can communities of faith understand one another?The essays in this important book take bold steps forward to answering these questions. The fruit of a historic conference of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars and community leaders, the essays address a fundamental question: how the three monotheistic traditions can provide the resources needed in the work of justice and reconciliation.Two distinguished scholars represent each tradition. Rabbis Irving Greenberg and Reuven Firestone each examine the relationship of Judaism to violence, exploring key sources and the history of power, repentance, and reconciliation. From Christianity, philosopher Charles Taylor explores the religious dimensions of categoricalviolence against other faiths, other groups, while Scott Appleby traces the emergence since Vatican II of nonviolence as a foundation of Catholic theology and practice. Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia, discusses Muslim support of pluralism and human rights, and Mohamed Fathi Osman examines the relationship between political violence and sacred sources in contemporary Islam.By focusing on transformative powers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the essays in this book provide new beginnings for people of faith committed to restoring peace among nations through peace among religions.

Published by: Fordham University Press


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p. vi-vi

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Preface: Beyond Violence Through Dialogue and Cooperation

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pp. ix-x

Religion today is at the heart of violence around the world: in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, Azerbaijani Armenia, Cyprus, Iraq, Sudan, and elsewhere. Religion . . .

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Introduction: Religious Sources for Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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pp. 13-14

Especially since the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many people in Europe have linked religion with violence. Bloody conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, and then . . .

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Notes on the Sources of Violence: Perennial and Modern

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pp. 15-42

What I want to focus on here is not violence in all its aspects, which includes domestic violence, criminal violence, and the like. What concerns me is categorial violence, exercised against whole . . .

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Judaism, Christianity, Islam: Hope or Fear of Our Times

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pp. 43-56

"The evil we are talking about here was not committed by Christians, but by those who have broken all the teachings of Jesus. Those who have raped women and killed innocent people have no . . .

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God Is the All-Peace, the All-Merciful

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pp. 57-73

"And among the humankind there is the one whose views on this world life would please you, and would cite God as witness to what is in his [/her] heart, and he [/she] is the most contentious . . .

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Judaism on Violence and Reconciliation: An Examination of Key Firestone

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pp. 74-87

Christians have sometimes claimed that Judaism is a violent religion and the God of Israel is a violent God. The accusation tends to be made in relation to Christianity as a religion of peace and the God . . .

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Religion as a Force for Reconciliation and Peace: A Jewish Analysis

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pp. 88-112

This chapter was written for presentation at a conference of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. The goal of the colloquy was to help religions become a resource for communities and nations seeking . . .

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Disciples of the Prince of Peace? Christian Resources for Nonviolent Peacebuilding

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pp. 113-144

Since the end of World War II, I shall argue in this essay, momentum has been developing, within both Christian theology and praxis, toward nonviolent peace building as the heart of the Christian ethic. . . .

About the Contributors

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pp. 145-148


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pp. 149-161

E-ISBN-13: 9780823246960
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823223336
Print-ISBN-10: 0823223337

Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2004