"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).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Religion," Ethics, and War

It is a happy development that as more and more publishers bring out "dictionaries of" or "companions to" various topics, or encyclopedias on them, they are no longer able to act as though the Christian East doesn't exist. A hefty new collection, released only last week, continues this trend, with a chapter on Orthodox views of Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (Cambridge UP, 2014), 748pp.
Edited by by Gregory Reichberg and Henrik Syse, this volume is, the publisher says
a collection of primary sources from the world's major religions on the ethics of war. Each chapter brings together annotated texts - scriptural, theological, ethical, and legal - from a variety of historical periods that reflect each tradition's response to perennial questions about the nature of war: When, if ever, is recourse to arms morally justifiable? What moral constraints should apply to military conduct? Can a lasting earthly peace be achieved? Are there sacred reasons for waging war, and special rewards for those who do the fighting? The religions covered include Sunni and Shiite Islam; Judaism; Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity; Theravada Buddhism; East Asian religious traditions (Confucianism, Shinto, Japanese and Korean Buddhism); Hinduism; and Sikhism. Each section is compiled by a specialist, recognized within his or her respective religious tradition, who has also written a commentary on the historical and textual context of the passages selected.

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