From the Editor

Joseph C. Liechty

In the brief life of the Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace, just over a year now, the essays submitted for publication have illustrated how far-ranging are the concerns that


Pamela K. Brubaker,
Glen H. Stasson,
Janet L. Parker

This jointly authored article critically evaluates the claim of Jean Bethke Elshtain that the war on terror meets the criteria of just war theory, presents evidence that elements of just peacemaking theory offers an effective alternative, and offers wisdom from World Council of Churches’ consultations on violence and terrorism about the role faith communities can play in peacebuilding.

Julie Todd

Walter Wink’s notion of “Jesus’ Third Way” has become central in discourse on Christian nonviolent theory and activism. This paper critiques this nonviolent ethic as it’s put forth by Wink in Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in an World of Domination. Given its broad, popular readership and application, it is important to analyze other perspectives that his argument marginalizes. This analysis challenges Wink’s nonviolent ethic on the basis of its universalizing norms, lack of context, simplification of violence, and lack of revolutionary demands.

Robert C. Johansen

Throughout their history Christians have faced this question: Can I refuse to kill others and still be morally responsible when violent, aggressive groups threaten other people?

Case Study

Julie P. Hart

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) provides an organized, faith-based, nonviolent response to injustice in areas of acute conflict around the globe. One of the current program sites is Colombia. Colombia is torn by a fifty-year long civil war, drug trafficking, and the U.S.-led war on drugs. CPT began its work in Colombia in 2001 by invitation of the Colombian Mennonite Church. The team currently accompanies ten communities termed “Humanitarian Spaces” and multiple civil society organizations in order to reduce the violence against these groups. This case study evaluates the work of CPT in relation to nine principles of nonviolent direct action synthesized from nonviolent leaders and literature. The study involves participant observation of the Colombia project, interviews with team members, interviews with Colombian nationals, interviews with individuals in the broader nonviolence community in North America, and examination of team documents from 2004 to 2008. In general, CPT Colombia uses the nine nonviolence principles well, especially the principles of “seizing moral initiative” and “confronting and exposing injustice.” There is significant room for improvement in four areas: “mental preparation,” “training oppressed communities,” “withdrawing consent from injustice,” and “asserting one’s humanity.”

Book Reviews

The modern age was rife with examples of religiously motivated violence well before September 11, 2001, from the large-scale conflict in Northern Ireland to the murder of abortion

Explanations of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa often consist of facile, ahistoric arguments framed in the language of democratization and the “war on terror.

When it comes to the topic of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, most of us will readily agree that the situation in Israel and the occupied territories is not encouraging.

The contributors to The Politics of Past Evil: Religion, Reconciliation, and the Dilemmas of Transitional Justice are motivated by a desire to bring religiously g

Religion and the Environmental Crisis
A Critique of Jean Bethke Elshtain's Just War Against Terror and an Advocacy of a Constructive Alternative
Engaging the Powers of Nonviolence
The Politics of Love and War
The Work of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Colombia
Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence across Time and Tradition. James K. Wellman Jr., ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.
Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa. Ussama Makdisi and Paul A. Silverstein, eds. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2006.
Palestine Peace Not Apartheid. Jimmy Carter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
The Politics of Past Evil: Religion, Reconciliation, and the Dilemmas of Transitional Justice. Daniel Philpott, ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006.

Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace. Copyright © 2013.
Published by Plowshares: a Peace Studies Collaborative of Earlham and Goshen Colleges and Manchester University. Supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.
Readers may duplicate articles and quote from the journal without permission, provided no changes are made in the text and full credit is given to the author.