Thanks Brenton for sharing Assoc Prof Reynaud’s work with us, well timed for Anzac Day.
Apart from the peer pressure to conform with the nationalism of the religious right, I wonder if our collective forgetting of pacifism is due to a shallow foundation. Even though we have traditionally taught non-combatance, we have a much less developed understanding of Christian non-violent conflict resolution compared to churches with a stronger Anabaptist heritage.
While our teaching rarely extends beyond not violating the commandment to “not murder,” Anabaptists and other Peace churches take New Testament teachings on non-violence much more seriously. Jesus’ teachings and lived demonstration of non-violent resistance offer a strong positive ethic of peacemaking. Paul, in turn, sees in this the opportunity to build a non-racist, non-classist, non-sexist church, as Christ, “is our peace.” Well beyond the inner calm that peace has been tamed into, Christian peace is the antidote for hostility. The theology of God’s peace offer to us leads directly to transforming human relationships.
Unless we actively engage with understanding Christian alternatives to military solutions, our shallow aversion to war will continue to be diluted.