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Between Conformity And Nonconformity: The Issue Of Non-Violent Resistance In Early Christianity And Its Relevance Today

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the question: Is it legitimate to employ violence in defence of justice? The question is discussed on the basis of two issues that are closely related: The issue of Christians and the state, and the issue of violence, non-violence and love of enemies. The chapter is divided in two major parts dealing with the two issues. Each part offers both a historical analysis and hermeneutical reflections. It presents an interaction between biblical text and contemporary experiences. The chapter emphasises on the principal questions, including some hermeneutical perspectives. It seems to be more adequate to speak of political obedience, the governing authorities, or the question of power in early Christianity than to speak of the state. The chapter focuses on fifth antithesis. Thus, an analysis of the fifth antithesis demonstrates that it should be interpreted as non-violent resistance rather than non-resistance or passivity.

Keywords: biblical text; early Christianity; hermeneutical reflections; historical analysis; non-violent resistance



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