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Moral Consciousness, Religion and Peace Action

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image of Journal of Empirical Theology

A communitarian ethical approach is at least as important for the pastoral dealing with peace issues in the church as a procedural ethical approach. Empirical support for this thesis is gathered through a survey among 175 members of Dutch church peace movements and 127 church members who are not active in a peace movement. First, a conceptualisation of communitarian peace attitudes is elaborated. Then, the effects of communitarian peace attitudes on peace action are tested. Significant effects are measured for both groups. The article concludes that there is an important communitarian dimension in the empirical theological ethics of peace. This communitarian dimension involves in particular the identity and mission of the church with regard to peace issues. Pastoral dealing with peace issues in the church, but also with other moral issues, should not neglect the communitarian side of the moral consciousness of believers.


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