Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker

Article excerpt


By Terrence J. Rynne (Orbis, 2014)


For the first four centuries of Christianity, it was widely accepted among Christians that to follow Jesus Christ meant to forswear the use of violence. After Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, these views softened, ultimately culminating in St. Augustine's just war doctrine that justified the use of force under certain circumstances.

In his new book, Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace, Terrence J. Rynne argues that it is time for Christians to return to the teaching of the early church. The old debate between pacifism and just war thinking has been superseded by the concept of active peacemaking. From Eastern Europe to South Africa to the Philippines, we have numerous examples of successful nonviolent efforts. This calls for a rethinking of the church's embrace of the just war doctrine.

In Rynne's view, Jesus Christ was a model of active peacemaking. …

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