The Warrior and the Pacifist: Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Warrior and the Pacifist

Competing Motifs in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, 1st Edition

Edited by Lester R. Kurtz


342 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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This book looks at two contradictory ethical motifs—the warrior and the pacifist—across four major faith traditions—Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and their role in shaping our understanding of violence and the morality of its use. The Warrior and the Pacifist explores how these faith traditions, which now mutually inhabit our life spaces, bring with them across the millennia the moral teachings that have traveled from prehistoric humanity, embedded in the beliefs, rituals, and institutions socially constructed by humans to deal with ultimate concerns, core aspects of daily personal and social life, and life transitions.

Table of Contents

Foreword(Kevin P. Clements); 1 Rethinking Religion and Violence (Lester R. Kurtz); PART I The Buddhist Tradition; 2 Buddhism and Violence: An Oxymoron? Text and Tradition in Buddhist Just-War Thinking (Iselin Frydenlund); 3 Engaged Buddhism East and West: Encounters with the Visions, Vitality, and Values of an Emerging Practice (Paula Green); 4 Aspects of Social Engagement Within the Southeast Asian Buddhist World (Jordan Baskerville and Somboon Chungprampree); PART II The Jewish Tradition; 5 War and Peace: Intertwining Threads in the Jewish Tradition (Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD); 6 Jewish, Israeli, and Zionist Traditions of War and Peace (Paul Scham); 7 "Purity of Arms": Educating Ethical Warriors in the Israeli Army (Noam Zion); PART III The Christian Tradition; 8 Peace and War in Christian Thought: A Partisan Guide (Nigel Biggar); 9 Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace (Pope Francis); 10 Christianity and Islam in an Age of Transition: Violence or Healing? (Joseph A. Camilleri); PART IV The Islamic Tradition; 11 Making Peace with Islam: The Muslim as Peacemaker (Afra Jalabi); 12 Transforming Terrorism with Muslims’ Nonviolent Alternatives? (Chaiwat Satha-Anand); 13 Islamic Approaches to Nonviolence and Peacebuilding: A Critical Examination (Mohammed Abu-Nimer); PART V Addressing the Issues Cross-Culturally; 14 Building Peace with Religious Support: The Case of Sri Lanka (Jehan Perera); 15 Interreligious Dialogue (Lisa Schirch); 16 Warriors and Pacifists: Dilemmas, Paradoxes, Alternatives (Lester R. Kurtz)

About the Editor

Lester R. Kurtz is Professor of Sociology at George Mason University, South Korea. He is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict (2nd ed., 2008), co-editor of Women, War, and Violence (2015), The Paradox of Repression and Social Movements (2018), Nonviolent Social Movements (1999), and The Web of Violence (1997), and author of books and articles including Gods in the Global Village (4th ed., 2016), The Politics of Heresy (1988), and The Nuclear Cage (1988).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion