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Always Turning The Other Cheek? An Introduction To The Question Of ‘Christianity And Resistance’

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the concept of resistance from a theological and a political science/philosophical angle. It focuses on three central periods: the formative years of the Church; the 16th and 17th century (including the Reformation); and the end of the 18th century. The doctrine of resistance as expressed by the Catholic Church, the Reformed Church and also by the Protestant Church was characterised by the utmost restraint in the use of powerand this even more so for the Anabaptists. In the history of political thought, philosophy and related sciences may distil two archetypal approaches or worldviews: an idealist approach, and the 'realist one. The last half of the 18th century saw two great revolutions: the American and the French. The revolutionaries in North America and France drew on the idealist world view, as the realist one was very reluctant towards radical changes.

Keywords: American revolution; Catholic church; French revolution; idealist approach; Protestant church; realist tradition; Reformed Church; resistance



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