Thinking about War and Peace:

A Christian Primer


Maple Grove United Church

Oakville, Ontario, Canada


E-mail me: Professor Alan L. Hayes, Toronto School of Theology

Visit the home page for Maple Grove United Church

The Wabash Center, which supports theological teaching in North America, has links to bibliographies and course outlines on theology and peace.

The "Peacemakers" website contains biographies of peacemakers and other resources from Bruderhof, a network of faith-based communities committed to peace.

A website from "Resources for Catholic Educators" has lots of links to materials on Christianity and peace.

Here's an old review of a classic book: Roland Bainton on Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace. The review is by a Harvard theologian and is published in a Princeton Theological Seminary space.

"Sojourners" is a magazine which is evangelical in theology and radically progressive in its approach to social analysis.

From Regent College, Vancouver, here's a lengthy bibliography on war, peace, and faith.

President Carter, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, reflected on the way that distorted theology leads to inhumanity.

René Girard writes on violence and religion. Here are (1) an intro to Girard and his work from the CBC; (2) a clear brief summary of his thought; (3) a general website on violence & religion; (4) a review of a book applying his theories to the Bible; and (5) a dense interview with him by a UCLA professor.


A four-part course


God of Peace, God of War: Biblical images of God

We look at the diverse ways in which God is revealed in the Old and New Testaments. Then we ask how the Church has used these images. Finally we ask: how does our understanding of God influence our values and behaviour?



Christian theological reflections on war and peace

Various Christian traditions and individuals have offered different teachings about war and peace. Some have opposed war for any reason; some have excused war in certain circumstances; some have recommended war for the right reasons; some have regarded war as none of their business.



Christians at war and peace through history

We look at some historical examples of Christian war-making and Christian peace-making. It looks as if Christians have made war sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly, and that they have made peace sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly.



The Church's calling today

In the midst of war, or when war looms, how do we know what we should do? Are the things we've discussed over the past three weeks — the Bible, the Church's teaching, or historical experience — a helpful guide in the present? Can "just war theory" be applied to proposals for war in Iraq? What are the implications for Christian social action, personal spirituality, and the Church's pastoral life?