Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Non-Violence in Religious Traditions

Article excerpt

Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Non-violence in Religious Traditions.

Edited by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1998. Pp. 177. $15.

The editor of this volume, Daniel SmithChristopher, is professor of theological studies and director of the Peace Studies program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. This timely set of essays responds to two questions: What are the teachings about nonviolence in the world's major religious traditions? and How have these teachings been exemplified? The book demonstrates that while the religions have made significant contributions to the ideals of peace and nonviolence, they have not consistently embodied those ideals.

Eight chapters focus on Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism, Hinduism, indigenous traditions of North America, Islam, modern Judaism, and Christianity. The essays place the teaching of nonviolence into the overall worldview of each tradition and then describe contemporary implications and expressions of the teaching. The epilogue by Donald Swearer reflects on worldview and practice, symbols and stories, inner peace and world peace, and the paradox of weakness and strength.

The essays on Buddhism, Hinduism, indigenous traditions, Judaism, and Christianity describe the tension between the ideal and the actual. …