"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Whom to Kill....

Though, for the moment, the threat--absurd, useless, and repugnant as it was--to attack Syria seems to have abated for the time being, the questions raised by that prospect--as well as other recent US military endeavors in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere--are major questions of lasting significance. They are not new questions as Christians have grappled with them from the beginning. One answer to them has already been suggested by Stanley Hauerwas, who used to keep on his door at Duke a poster which read: "A Modest Proposal for Peace: Let the Christians of the World Agree That They Will Not Kill Each Other."

Last year Ron Sider put together a collection of texts from various early Christian and patristic sources on the uses of violence. Sider seems to be one of those evangelicals who, in the last three decades, has, to some extent, "discovered" the Christian East, as this collection suggests: The Early Church on Killing: a Comprehensive Sourcebook on War, Abortion, and Capital Punishment (Baker Academic, 2012), 224pp.

About this book we are told:
Noted theologian Ron Sider lets the testimony of the early church speak in the first of a three-volume series on biblical peacemaking. This volume offers a thorough, comprehensive treatment on topics of perennial concern--war, abortion, and capital punishment--providing English translations for all extant data directly relevant to the treatment of these issues by the early church until Constantine. Primarily, it draws data from early church writings, but other evidence, such as archaeological finds and Roman writings, is included. The book contains brief introductions to every Christian writer cited and explanatory notes on many specific texts. The Early Church on Killing will be a helpful text in courses on ethics, theology, and church history.

We are also given the table of contents: 
Part 1: Christian Writers before Constantine
1. Didache
2. The Epistle of Barnabas
3. First Clement
4. Second Clement
5. Apocalypse of Peter
6. Justin Martyr
7. Tatian
8. Irenaeus
9. Athenagoras
10. Clement of Alexandria
11. Tertullian
12. Minucius Felix
13. Didascalia apostolorum
14. Julius Africanus
15. Origen
16. St. Cyprian
17. Gregory Thaumaturgus
18. Dionysius of Alexandria
19. Archelaus
20. Adamantius, Dialogue on the True Faith
21. Arnobius of Sicca
22. Lactantius
Part 2: Church Orders and Synods
23. Apostolic Tradition
24. Three Later Church Orders
25. Synod of Arles
Part 3: Miscellaneous Items
26. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
27. Paul of Samosata
28. The Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena
Part 4: Other Evidence of Christian Soldiers before Constantine
29. "The Thundering Legion"
30. A Third Century Christian Prayer Hall Near a Military Camp
31. Epitaphs
32. Military Martyrs
33. Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History
34. An Early Christian Kingdom?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...