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Conciliar Process

(487 words)

Author(s): Lienemann, Wolfgang
[German Version] (for justice, peace and the preservation of creation). I. The 6th plenary assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1983 challenged churches to enter into a “conciliar process of mutual obligation (covenant) for justice, peace and the preservation of creation” (JPC). The German Protestant Church Conference ( Kirchentag ) of 1985 followed with the appeal to “the churches of the world to convene a council of peace.” Causes at the time were the intense political tensions between East and West,…

Violence and the Use of Force

(2,190 words)

Author(s): Lienemann, Wolfgang | Kersting, Wolfgang | Sieckmann, Jan-R. | Schmälzle, Udo Friedrich
[German Version] I. Anthropology Violence as the power of some to intimidate others against their will by threat or exercise of physical coercion or force them to (or not to) behave or act in a particular way is a phenomenon of all ages, cultures and societies. It is a constant of the human capacity for being; its exercise, encouragement, restraint, and restriction depend on many social variables. A historically differentiated anthropology will inquire into the factors determining various forms of violence. The causes of human violence have been defined variously. In his dri…

Peace

(3,824 words)

Author(s): Schwerdtfeger, Johannes | Kinnamon, Michael | Lienemann, Wolfgang
1. Sociology 1.1. Problem of Definition The word “peace” has many meanings, making a comprehensive definition impossible. Definitions aim to make a word univocal and tend to stress one specific content. Peace might be a nonwarring state in national relations, an absence of violence (Force, Violence, Nonviolence), a state of actualized social justice (Righteousness, Justice, 3), a psychological factor in persons or their relations with others, a state of law in a country or between countries, an organi…

Disarmament and Armament

(3,406 words)

Author(s): Everts, Philip P. | Lienemann, Wolfgang
1. Political Aspects In an international society that might be described as a mitigated anarchy, power relations between states have a central role. Although other means of exerting force are of increasing importance, military power is still seen as decisive. The question of the relation of armaments to the possibility of war has not yet been satisfactorily answered by peace research. Two contrary positions are adopted. The first takes the old view that if one wants peace (§1), one must prepare for…

Force, Violence, Nonviolence

(3,558 words)

Author(s): Lienemann, Wolfgang | Gill, David | Rempel, John D.
1. Theology and Ethics 1.1. Term “Force” is a term with many nuances. In the sense of violence it can denote unlawful acts that threaten, harm, or destroy the life or liberty (freedom) of a person (or animal), the property of someone, or social order. It may also be used for the lawful force that a government must have in order to give stability to society. The lack of precision derives from the matter itself and is reflected in Greek and Latin as well as English, French, and German. In using the term…

Resistance, Right of

(3,010 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Arthur | Lienemann, Wolfgang
1. Legal Considerations 1.1. States That Employ Unlawful Means The classic understanding of the right of resistance was developed in connection with the problem of tyrannicide in antiquity by Aristotle (384–322 b.c.; Aristotelianism) and Cicero (106–43), in connection with medieval Christian natural law by Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225–74; Thomism), and during the Reformation by M. Luther (1483–1546; Luther’s Theology) and P. Melanchthon (1497–1560; Reformers 3.1.1). The key issue is that such resistance may direct itself against a state that e…