Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(3,597 words)

1. Term and Usage

The word “pacifism” came into use around 1900, apparently first in Europe, to describe a generalized attitude of opposition to war. A more restricted sense found in early Christianity designates the absolute refusal to use force against persons (often called nonresistance, from Jesus’ admonition in Matt. 5:39).

In contemporary usage, pacifism encompasses a wide range of antiwar and antiviolence views, often incl…

Cite this page
Burkholder, J. R. and Holl, Karl, “Pacifism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 02 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.3>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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