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21. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Glen H. Stassen Resource Section on Just Peacemaking Theory
22. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Darryl M. Trimiew Jesus Changes Things: A Critical Evaluation of "Christ and Culture" from an African American Perspective
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Christ and Culture remains a useful heuristic device for discerning and interpreting the process of struggle and change produced by the attempts of the church to minister to the world. It is also helpful for ecclesial self-evaluations. While its typologies are conceptually imperfect, they can be used, nevertheless, to disclose important changes in society and within denominations. These attributes can and do help to facilitate the African American church's ongoing liberation efforts and therefore, hopefully, the flourishing of African American communities.
23. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Duane K. Friesen A Discriminating Engagement of Culture: "An Anabaptist Perspective"
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Niebuhr's definitions of "Christ" and "culture" set up a problematic dualism that leads to a misrepresentation of the Christ-against-culture type. The paper proposes that instead of Niebuhr's "idealized" Christ (defined by a set of virtues), an embodied Christology locates Christ within culture. The tension, then, is not between Christ and culture, but between different cultural visions. A cultural vision with Christ as norm provides a discriminating ethic of normative practices to engage culture. Many scholars have recognized that Niebuhr not only develops a descriptive typology in Christ and Culture, he also argues that the fifth type, Christ-the-transformer-of-culture, is the most adequate position. Almost everyone identifies with this type. Why is that? The problem is that the variety of meanings of "transformation" is not illuminated by Niebuhr's typology. An alternative typology is proposed which addresses these two problems: a richer development of three types that Niebuhr lumps together in his Christ-against-culture type; and the development of a typology to show that there are four different ways to understand what the church has meant by Christ-the-transformer-of-culture.
24. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Glen H. Stassen It Is Time to Take Jesus Back: In Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of H. Richard Niebuhr's "Christ and Culture"
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In The Kingdom of God in America, H. Richard Niebuhr argued that three dimensions are crucial for transformative faith: the sovereignty of God over all; the independence of the living God from captivity to human ideologies or institutions; and a revolutionary strategy with particular normative content from God's self-revelation in Jesus Christ. Without the historically particular content of the way of Jesus, Christian faith has a vacuum only too eagerly filled by alien ideologies. Hence Niebuhr begins Christ and Culture with a historically particular and concrete understanding of the way of Jesus Christ, and evaluates the five types with this three-dimensional standard. The puzzle is that the farther the book goes, the thinner Jesus becomes, until the concluding chapter backs off from evaluation. Niebuhr moved back to his more Christocentric ethics before he died, and thus recovered his prophetic edge. To learn from Niebuhr's history and teach a transformative faith not accommodated to ideologies of injustice, ethics needs to recover a thicker Jesus. Helpful resources are emerging from which Christian ethicists can draw rich help: the third quest of the historical Jesus, new exegetical and canonical approaches, the new emphasis on normative practices, historically situated narrative ethics, and some models by Christian ethicists, all of which point to a thicker, richer, historically particular way of Jesus in the prophetic tradition of Israel.
25. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Theodore J. Koontz, Michael L. Westmoreland-White A Just Peacemaking Bibliography
26. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Martin L. Cook Just Peacemaking: Challenges of Humanitarian Intervention
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Just peacemaking proposes that it is a creative "third way" between just war and pacifism for Christian engagement with international affairs. It claims that its proposals result from the convergence of a number of important characteristics of the contemporary international scene that cumulatively make this a "kairos" for novel and creative modes of reflection and action. Further, it claims to offer workable and realistic counsel for action in the contemporary world of international relations. This paper critically assesses both claims. It reviews various interpretations of the direction of contemporary international affairs and raises some cautions about too enthusiastic an embrace of just peacemaking's vision of cooperative internationalism. It then focuses specifically on situations that invite intervention in the name of humanitarian concerns. There, the author finds some elements of just peacemaking to be an important supplement to the capabilities of military forces to intervene effectively and to transition successfully to nation-building activities that are necessary if intervention is to have a lasting positive effect.
27. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Contributors
28. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Ronald H. Stone Realist Criticism of Just Peacemaking Theory
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Many of the ten practices to abolish war of just peacemaking theory can be appropriated by classical realist thinkers to illumine possibilities of more peace for the post-cold war situation. The optimism of just peacemaking theory about abolishing war, however, does not need to be appropriated. Realist participation in the just peacemaking project can proceed but only with reservations about what seems to be a mixture of optimism and Kantian idealism about the future peacefulness of a capitalist world, and the illusion that war will disappear from the world. Realism, grounded more in the prophets than the just peacemaking project and more in the prophets' moral critique than in Thucydides' cynicism, provides a stronger foundation for policy advice than the Sermon on the Mount which did not focus on international relations. The striking lack of attention by Jesus to questions of the management of the Roman Empire and the ethics of war and peace permits Christians to consult books of the Bible where international relations and foreign policy are prominent for moral wisdom on the subject.
29. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Glen H. Stassen The Unity, Realism, and Obligatoriness of Just Peacemaking Theory
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Just peacemaking theory is a new paradigm for Christian ethics alongside just war theory and pacifism. It answers a different question than just war theory and pacifism seek to answer: not the question of justification, but prevention. The ethical norms of just peacemaking are not ideals or principles, but realistic, historically situated practices that are empirically demonstrating their effectiveness in preventing war. They are interactive, community practices that inherently engage in dialogue with diverse others, as befits a postmodern or pluralistic age. By no means does just peacemaking theory predict that there will be no more wars, or that the state is withering away, but it focuses on realistic, empirical evidence that ten historically effective practices are in fact preventing wars, and therefore, they have similar obligatoriness as do the principles of just war theory and pacifism.
30. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Julie Hanlon Rubio Three-in-One Flesh: A Christian Reappraisal of Divorce in Light of Recent Studies
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The author argues that Christian theologians must consider the suffering of children in their moral evaluation of divorce. A review of recent social science literature shows the negative consequences of divorce, especially in low-conflict cases, and suggests the need to return to the tradition for retrieval of theologies of marriage that include children. In St. John Chrysostom, the author finds a three-in-one flesh metaphor that she claims is a more adequate description of marriage with children as lived reality. With the addition of parallel material from Vatican II and John Paul II, the author argues, it is possible to construct a new theology of marriage that moves beyond relationship to include commitments to spouses, children, and society.