Archives For Just War

 

THE OTHER JOURNAL’S REVIEW OF
Daniel Bell’s JUST WAR AS CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP

http://www.theotherjournal.com/article.php?id=956

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we have been told by both sides of the partisan fence that we now live in an “age of terrorism.” What is especially novel about our age, so we are told, is not so much that our world is torn apart by violence, but that the “enemy” has no moral compass, no concern for the flourishing of human life. We are told that our extraordinary times may demand that we take extraordinary measures in warfare. In other words, the rules that may have guided warfare in the past may no longer apply. The images of tortured prisoners, maimed Iraqi civilians, and the thousands of flag-wrapped caskets of dead U.S. soldiers remind us of the horrific consequences of the two U.S.-led wars launched against this elusive “terrorist” enemy. Although many Christians opposed the wars from the beginning, others have backed the wars without hesitation, and leaders and spokespersons on both sides of the debate have appealed to just war principles and criteria to support their respective positions. In the midst of polemically charged debates between Internet pundits, political ideologues, and partisan hacks, it has often been difficult to find the space to reflect on, at least with any moral seriousness and clarity, the question of justice with regard to these particular wars. Yet, too much is at stake in warfare—perhaps especially modern warfare—to simply let the pundits control the shape of public discourse, not to mention Christian discourse on war. Indeed, in our time of war and rumors of war, a time when uncritical support of war and nationalist fervor is all too common, not least among American Christians, we are desperately in need of a theologically robust and critical discourse about war.


Read the full review:
http://www.theotherjournal.com/article.php?id=956

Just War as Christian Discipleship:
Recentering the Tradition in the Church rather than the State
.
Daniel M. Bell, Jr.
Paperback: Brazos Press, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


ORION MAGAZINE Reviews Poet Tony Hoagland’s
New Book Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/review/5350/

TONY HOAGLAND is not a poet who sees himself as above anything. Rather, he is inside it all: “I too am made of joists and stanchions, / of plasterboard and temperamental steel, / mortgage payments and severed index fingers, / ex-girlfriends and secret Kool-Aid-flavored dawns.” From pop culture to the mundane, from the glittering Britney Spears to the undeniable hulk of a cement truck, Hoagland wades through the noise and confusion of American material culture with a mixture of awe and disgust. His language—personal, inviting, unpretentiously graceful—pulls the trusting reader along behind, unsure at times whether to laugh or cry.

It would be hard not to see Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty as in many ways a critique of contemporary culture. Hoagland wanders through the grocery store and the mega-mall, seeing beneath all the Muzak and bright colors and splashy ads the fraught and complex web that strings across the globalized world.

Read the full review:
http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/review/5350/

Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty: Poems.
Tony Hoagland.
Paperback: Graywolf Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

 

“A Prime Season for Yoder Studies”

A Review of
The War of the Lamb:
The Ethics of Nonviolence and Peacemaking

by John Howard Yoder
and
The New Yoder
Peter Dula and Chris Huebner, eds.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

The War of the Lamb:
The Ethics of Nonviolence and Peacemaking

John Howard Yoder.
Paperback: Brazos Press, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


The New Yoder.
Peter Dula and Chris Huebner, eds.
Paperback: Cascade Books, 201o.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

THE WAR OF THE LAMB - John Howard YoderWe are apparently in a prime season for the release of books by and about John Howard Yoder.  In the year beginning with the release of his Christian Attitudes Toward War, Peace and Revolution last spring (our review is here), there will be about ten new books on Yoder that hit bookstore shelves.  I have recently had the opportunity to read two of these books, and also have played host to the conference that produced a third (see an exclusive excerpt of this book below and watch for a thorough review of it coming soon in the ERB).  The two books that I have been working my way through of late are The War of the Lamb, an exploration of “the ethics of peacemaking”, which Yoder intended to be his final book (but he died before he could finish it), and The New Yoder, a diverse collection of engagements with Yoder’s work from Cascade Books.

The War of the Lamb is a wonderful supplement to Christian Attitudes Toward War, Peace and Revolution (both are recent publications of Brazos Press), which takes a historical look at Christian theology related to war and peace.  The War of the Lamb, extends this project by exploring how Christians committed to nonviolence can exist in dialogue both with other Christians who hold Just-War perspectives and with the (presumably violent) nation-state.  One of the major themes of the work, as highlighted by Glen Stassen in the book’s introduction is that the ethics that Yoder is proposing here is not sectarian.  Ultimately, I think Stassen and Yoder are correct in that the ethics of Jesus are for all humanity.  However, for those of us entrenched in deeply domesticated churches, some level of sectarianism will be needed in order to form our identity – as Phil Kenneson has poignantly argued in his little book Beyond Sectarianism.

Yoder’s text begins with a “theological critique of violence.”  His critique here is – as is characteristic of his work – distinctively Christological, namely that the sacrifice of the cross is necessary in overcoming our penchant to return violence for violence.  Violence, he observes, “is not a sin like any other,” but rather the fundamental nature of power in a fallen world, which must be overcome:  He says:

Continue Reading…

 

“Yoder’s pièce de résistance?”

A Review of
Christian Attitudes to
War, Peace and Revolution.

by John Howard Yoder.
Edited by Ted Koontz and Andy Alexis-Baker.

 Reviewed by Chris Smith

 

Christian Attitudes to
War, Peace and Revolution.

John Howard Yoder.
Edited by Ted Koontz and Andy Alexis-Baker.

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2009.
Buy now:   [ ChristianBook.com ]

 

In these days, when governments promise us endless war, the people of God need serious reflection on the ethics of war and our responsibility to follow faithfully in the way of Christ Jesus.  Into this crucial era, Brazos Press has just offered up an essential text on the Christian ethics of war from the late Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, Christian Attitudes to War, Peace and Revolution.  This book was compiled from lectures in a seminary course of the same name, which Yoder taught year after year over the course of three decades from 1966 to his death in 1997.  Christian Attitudes spans the history of the Christian tradition from its earliest years to the present, exploring the various perspectives that churches have taken on military cooperation, with special attention to those positions characterized by their opposition to Christian participation in the military.  It is a tribute to the excellent editorial work of Ted Koontz and Andy Alexis-Baker, who assembled and refined this work from Yoder’s lectures, that a work of this scope, stature and rigor can read so clearly and be packed into a little over 400 pages – (not including study guides and other end material).  Yoder’s work here should be understood as a dialogue with Roland Baintain’s heralded work of a similar name, Christian Attitudes toward War and Peace, which served as a textbook for the course on which this new book is based.  Continue Reading…