From Publishers Weekly
Those who critique pacifism usually ask one simple question: what about Hitler? Brimlow, an associate professor of philosophy at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., grapples with that question as he reviews the philosophy and implementation of just war theories. The major difficulty, he argues, is that just war theory can be used to justify any war, including the ones against Hitler and Osama bin Laden. To those who argue that pacifism isn't effective in combating evil, Brimlow counters that by secular definitions, Jesus' nonviolence wasn't successful either. Brimlow argues that the Gospels are very clear: what Christians are called to do is to repay evil with good, even when doing so leads to death. A life of prayer and attention to God's presence in everyday life, as well as practicing peacemaking daily, are the spiritual practices that prepare Christians to turn the other cheek, and even die, when the time comes. Brimlow's treatise is carefully argued in academic fashion, even as he admits to personal difficulties living out the gospel as he understands it. The result is a lucid and thoughtful analysis that doesn't gloss over or minimize the outrageous demands of the Gospels. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
What about Hitler?
is part of the The Christian Practice of Everyday Life series, dedicated to theological consideration of the concerns for everyday life. Series editors are David S. Cunningham and William T. Cavanaugh.
"With clarity and respect for the best arguments justifying violence, from Augustine and Bonhoeffer to Michael Walzer and Jean Bethke Elshtain, Robert Brimlow responds to the challenges of radical evil. Brimlow provocatively engages the reader on three levels: a philosophical analysis and critique of just war reasoning; meditations on the gospel and Jesus that support willingness to die rather than participating in violence as the 'answer' to Hitler; and the spiritual practices of prayer and daily acts of mercy that habituate persons to being the people of God."--Duane K. Friesen, coeditor of At Peace and Unafraid
"A searching examination of just war and pacifist approaches to war and violence that leads to advice on discipleship. It is a book I would make required reading for a course on the morality of war, even though I don't always agree."--Arthur F. Holmes, editor of War and Christian Ethics
"This is not an easy book to read, which is why Brimlow's book is so important. The hard clarity of his prose witnesses his refusal to report any easy answer to the question posed in the title. As a result, however, he has answered that question in the only honest way it can be answered."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School
"This book is an honest examination of the most important challenge to pacifism: Would it not be right to use violence to stop great evil, such as that unleashed on the world by Hitler? Brimlow's honesty in dealing with the commands of Jesus is refreshing, and he does not shrink from confronting the dilemma of being a pacifist in a 'supreme emergency' of demonic evil unleashed on society. His answers are profound in their simplicity and honesty."--Craig A. Carter, author of The Politics of the Cross
"I expected, in this book, to see challenges issued to the just war theory. I was also not surprised to see probing questions--drawn creatively from Bonhoeffer and Orwell--posed to pacifists. However, I was not prepared to be so powerfully challenged by the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a wonderfully challenging book!"--Mark Thiessen Nation, author of John Howard Yoder: Mennonite Patience, Evangelical Witness, Catholic Convictions