Just Revolution: A Christian Ethic of Political Resistance by Anna Floerke Scheid

By Anna Floerke Scheid

Despite the U.S Catholic Bishops’ 1983 announcement that “insufficient analytical awareness has been given to the ethical problems with innovative warfare,” theological scholarship has been gradual to have interaction in systematic research of what makes a revolution moral or unethical. Just Revolution: A Christian Ethic of Political Resistance and Social Transformation aims to handle this lacuna. What rules and practices should advisor those who are looking to loose themselves from dictatorial or oppressive governments?

With this question in brain, this ebook makes a speciality of oppressed peoples as brokers in their personal methods of social transformation. The version of simply revolution proposed endeavors to restrict violence to do the least attainable damage whereas overcoming political oppression, operating towards a justice, and selling long term efforts at peacebuilding and sociopolitical reconciliation.

Using the South African fight opposed to apartheid as a case examine, Just Revolution posits an ethic for innovative task that starts off with nonviolent simply peacemaking practices, permits constrained and restricted armed resistance in keeping with revised simply battle standards, and promotes post-revolutionary transitional justice and social reconciliation. jointly the practices and standards that emerge from this research yield a wealthy and theologically grounded ethic of simply revolution.

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128 Just peacemaking theory has emerged as a powerful rubric for thinking about war, peace, and justice, as well as a practical route to addressing situations of conflict and promoting peacebuilding. In developing a theory of just revolution, I have turned to the notion of just peacemaking to provide the bedrock for jus ante armed resistance; just peacemaking theory acts as a conceptual framework for thinking about how justly to employ nonviolent tactics against oppression. It also constitutes one wheel of what I call the “tandem approach” to revolution in which nonviolent strategies are used alongside armed resistance.

60 For Augustine war is sometimes an unhappy necessity to secure earthly peace. ” 61 War, even when it seeks to correct severe injustices, is never to be sought or celebrated, but only undertaken as a duty to participate in and promote the well-ordered harmony of civic and political life. This harmony is also called peace, and Christians make use of it to focus their attention on God. The more a political community is able to cultivate peace, the nearer it will be to the happiness that is ultimately fulfilled only in the heavenly city.

Peace, even the derivative peace of the earthly city, is to be consciously pursued; so much so that Augustine contends that the only valid reason for waging war is to reestablish peace when it is threatened by sin and disorder. Among the texts that likely earn Augustine the title “Father of the Just War Tradition” 39 is his response to the theological ideas of the Manichean bishop, Faustus. The response is not a systematic attempt to generate a “just war theory” and Augustine likely had little sense that his statements on war in this text would become the foundation of a major ethical approach to conflict that would stand for centuries.

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