Conscience and Conflict - EP101
Methodism, peace and war in the twentieth century
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Attention is given to the way in which Methodist scholars and ministers, ranging from A.S. Peake to Leslie Weatherhead and Donald Soper to Kenneth Greet, have sought to relate questions of war and peace to broader considerations of Christian faith and practice. Chapters focus on responses within British Methodism to the Boer War and its aftermath, the First World War, the inter-war years and the rise of fascism, the Second World War, the Cold War, debates about the relationship between economic justice and conflict in the post-1945 period, and the international situation since the end of the Cold War.
Looking at official Conference documents and 'grass roots' material, the author shows how Methodists, alongside other Christians, have wrestled with questions such as whether it can ever be right for Christians to take up arms or support their country in times of war? Does the state have the right to conscript its citizens to fight in times of war, and should individuals have the right to object to military service on grounds of conscience? Is it ever morally acceptable to possess weapons of mass destruction or to target civilians in times of war? Is it possible to identify new ways of promoting global economic justice in order to reduce the incidence of war and conflict (debt relief, new trading patterns, etc.)?
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