March 17, 2015 Wayne Northey

Is Violence Master of Us All?: Fight, Flight or Just Peacemaking

Listen to this article

Philosopher’s Café: Legal Grounds Coffee House, Abbotsford, April 22, 2001; June 24, 2001

The host was the affable lawyer Gerry Palmer, quite well-known for his work with numerous non-profit organizations, and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business at the University of the Fraser Valley.

It was fun doing this and the “Philosopher’s Café” following, with the same title paper, but slightly longer. You may click on either below.

An excerpt:


“Violence is the ethos of our times. It is the spirituality of the modern world (Wink, [Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, Minneapolis: Fortress Press.] 1992, p. 13).”, writes one contemporary cultural observer and New Testament theologian, Walter Wink. More than any religious spirituality, including Christian, violence is the cultural air we breath. This century has seen more people slaughtered than all previous centuries combined – 107 millions in wars and regional conflicts by the mid-90’s. And Christians have led, blessed, and participated in the vast majority of this killing, and continue to do so into the third millennium.

Yet this massive slaughter has been carried on in a world ostensibly dominantly under the sway of Christian spirituality. Is it therefore to be concluded that a Christian worldview and praxis lead ineluctably to an ultimate bloodthirsty spirituality, and therefore the sooner eradicated from the human cultural landscape, the better? Or is there “something rotten in the state of Denmark?” – in the worldwide expression of Christianity that is profoundly aberrant from the way and teachings of its Founder? That is the thesis of brilliant 19th century Danish theologian and social theorist Søren Kierkegaard, founder of existentialism. He wrote: “My position is that the whole prevailing official proclamation of Christianity is a conspiracy against the Bible – we suppress what does not suit us (quoted in Bellinger, [The Geneaology of Violence: Reflections on Creation, Freedom, and Evil, New York: Oxford University Press.] 2001, p. 98).”

Please click on: Philosophers’ Café – April 22 2001

Please click on: Philosophers’ Café – June 24 2001

Wayne Northey

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

Care to follow posts?

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox (unsubscribe any time):

%d bloggers like this: