Myth and Reality: Pacifism's Discourse on Violence Revisited

Pacifism is an active form of resistance, and therefore not to be criticised as a passive withdrawal from the world. The defining characteristic of pacifism, in both the institutional and the witness approach, is its categorical commitment to nonviolence. Therefore, pacifism's discourse on viol...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Studies in Christian ethics
Main Author: Lohmann, Friedrich 1964-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Sage [2018]
In: Studies in Christian ethics
Year: 2018, Volume: 31, Issue: 2, Pages: 186-200
IxTheo Classification:NCD Political ethics
VA Philosophy
Further subjects:B Pacifists
B Pacifism
B religious wars
B Violence
B Conflict Management
B Policing
B Nonviolence
B Conflict Resolution
B Warfare
Online Access: Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
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Summary:Pacifism is an active form of resistance, and therefore not to be criticised as a passive withdrawal from the world. The defining characteristic of pacifism, in both the institutional and the witness approach, is its categorical commitment to nonviolence. Therefore, pacifism's discourse on violence deserves special attention. This article identifies incoherencies and developments in pacifism's discourse on violence, which are due to the almost unbearable burden of thinking and acting categorically in a nonviolent manner. It furthermore identifies two presuppositions in pacifist thinking on the consequences of the use of violence which turn out to be rather myths than reality. It cannot be proven that violence always begets violence nor that violence cannot be tamed in military operations. Therefore, the belief of pacifism that peace can be brought about effectively only when refusing any kind of violent means turns out to be an irrational myth as well.
ISSN:0953-9468
Contains:Enthalten in: Studies in Christian ethics
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1177/0953946817749092