War and Its Discontents

Pacifism and Quietism in the Abrahamic Traditions

J. Patout Burns

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This volume examines the limits Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have set for the use of coercive violence. It probes the agreements and disagreements of these major religious traditions on pacifism (the abjurance of all force) and quietism (the avoidance of force unless certain stringent conditions are met).

The distinguished contributors examine the foundations for nonviolence in each religion, criticize the positions each religion has taken, address the inherent challenges nonviolence poses, and evaluate the difficulty of practicing nonviolence in a secular society. The concluding essay defines the common ground, isolates the points of conflict, and suggests avenues of further inquiry.

The most important contribution this volume makes is to demonstrate that no Western religious tradition provides a basis for the glorification of violence. Rather, each accepts warfare as a regretted necessity and sets strict limits on the use of force.

This work offers new insights for those interested in the ethics of warfare, peace studies, religious traditions, and international affairs.

Table of Contents

J. Patout Burns

1. Fighting the War and the Peace: Battlefield Ethics, Peace Talks, Treaties, and Pacifism in the Jewish Tradition
Michael J. Broyde

2. The Pursuit of Peace: A Singular Commandment
Everett Gendler

3. The Political Morality of Pacifism and Nonviolence: One Jewish View
Yehudah Mirsky

4. Pacifism and Nonviolence: Another Jewish View
Naomi Goodman

5. On Not Being in Charge
John H. Yoder

6. Religious Pacifism and Quietism: A Taxonomic Approach and a Catholic Response
John P. Langan, SJ

7. Beyond Just War and Pacifism
Walter Wink

8. Quietism and Pacifism in the Islamic Tradition
Abdulaziz A. Sachedina

9. Is there a Tradition of Nonviolence in Islam?
Michael N. Nagler

10. Quietism and Pacifism in American Public Policy: The Triumph of Secular Pacifism in the Religious State
Edward McGlynn Gaffney

11. Toward a Common Heritage
J. Patout Burns



Supplemental Materials


About the Author

240 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87840-603-6
Apr 1996

240 pp., 6 x 9

Apr 1996

240 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-877-8
Apr 1996

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