The Approach of Pacifism
The subject of this chapter is the fourth religious approach to war: the way of pacifism. Pacifism is a central concern of this book, and in the chapters that follow the implications of pacifism – what it requires and what is allows – are discussed, as well as animadversions of pacifism and its moral and religious support. In this chapter the history of pacifism and nonviolence in early Christianity are documented, and the roots of nonviolence in both Eastern and Western religious traditions are noted. Pacifism has been given different interpretations and several of these interpretations are examined in this chapter. The most coherent form of pacifism, this chapter’s discussion will conclude, is the moral or religious acceptance of nonviolence and the repudiation of war and violence in personal relations and in all its expressions.