VIOLENCE: Reflections From a Christian Perspective by Jacques Ellul
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VIOLENCE: Reflections From a Christian Perspective

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The distinguished French jurist, sociologist, and Protestant leader, presents in this small volume an incisive analysis of the present views among Christians--Catholic and Protestant--on the use of violence to obtain social justice. The results will be disturbing to many Christians, especially those who have assumed theological justifications for their participation in violence. The actual ground for such participation, Dr. Ellul contends, is to be found in sociological movements of the times. Major revolutionary causes today really derive from Socialism (which he does not decry) rather than Christianity (and this confusion he does decry). What troubles the author is that Christians accept the trends of the time without introducing anything specifically Christian into them. The analysis of this then begins with a survey of the ambivalence toward violence that appeared as early as the first century, and led to such concepts as the ""just"" state and the ""just"" war. Ellul is very sharp, as well as knowledgeable, in his dissection of the theological positions advanced by American Black Power leaders, hippies, and other current American and European movements. The tactic for the Christian, he believes, is that of being a radically Christian presence in the world, a theme he presented in his earlier study of The Presence of the Kingdom. This book should have a wide reading among church leaders, lay Christians, and students today.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1969
Publisher: Seabury Press