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Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions (Faith Meets Faith Series) Paperback – October, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"It is a delight to see scholars of religion placing their learning in service to the cause of peace. " -- John Berthrong, Associate Dean for Academic and Administrative Affairs Director, Institute for Dialogue Among Religious Traditions, Boston University School of Theology

"This book's contribution to comparative studies is a rich statement of possibilities for many kinds of peace and nonviolence." -- By Paul Waldau Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Philosophy of East & West Volume 50, Number 3 July 2000 468-471

"This compact book stives mightily to demonstrate the theory and practice of nonviolence in nine different religious traditions." -- Barbara Hirschkowitz, Turning Wheel

From the Publisher

What commonalties would we find among the world's major religious traditions if we focused on the subject of nonviolence? Would we find a straightforward, unambiguous uniformity among the spiritual teachings? Would we find some justification for aggression? Would we find exhortations to violence in some religious traditions and not in others? Would there be surprises in the textual interpretations of some international scholars as they assessed their religious traditions?

Product Details

  • Series: Faith Meets Faith Series
  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570753237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570753237
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Each essay in this collection offers tenable prescriptions for subverting hatred and eliminating expressions of violence that percolate upward from what editor Daniel L. Smith-Christopher calls the "religious impulse of humanity."

The Jainist plea for peace, the Buddhist peace wheel, the Confucian/Daoist teachings that "channel conflict" and "call for cooperation," the Hindu teaching of ahimsa (non-harm), and what Quaker Smith-Christopher labels Christian "political atheism" (in imitation of the early Christians' relationship with the Roman Empire) and "radical faith" (a faith that challenges nationalism, patriotism and cults of violence), as well as Islam's al-jihad al-akbar (the Greater Struggle) all offer a religious means of achieving a peaceful, non-violent world.
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The Qu'ran is full of violence. So say some. Others say that Islam, as the youngest of the three religions of the book, reflects an immaturity about violence that we should discount as just an early phase of Muslim ethics.

Of course, the immediate retort might be that the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) are full of violence. Passages like Amos 1 (hurling fire against Gaza is good!)perplex me.

Since then I am glad to read that there are Jews who respond similarly to me to the violent passages in their Scriptures (which are our Scriptures too). Their response is more than embarrassment. The Rabbis call it "desecration of the Name (of God)".

"Subverting Hatred: The challenge of Nonviolence", edited by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher is helping me process these matters in the shadow of the dark events in Palestine/Israel and southern Lebanon.

Islamists do justify violence out of the Qu'ran. The Hezbollah are ultimately intent on wiping out all non-Muslims and setting up a shariah empire. Jews justify violence out of their Scriptures. Christians too have looked to their Old Testament to back up the Crusades, the two European wars against Germany in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.

Indeed, from the time of Constantine from AD 312, Christians have developed mainstream justifications of war, violence and aggression in the "Just War" theory.

"Subverting Hatred" does not deny the paradigms for violence in our Scriptures. They are there to see in Qu'ran and Old Testament. But what is also true is that in Islam, Judaism and Christianity there has always been a tradition of non-violence, often a minority voice, often shouted down, but still articulate.
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