2Religion, Peace and Justice This module covers 5 main areas:Just WarPacifismPurpose of PunishmentCapital PunishmentSocial InjusticeFor each topic you will need to know a range of Christian views as well as your own viewpointFist we need to know what Christian denominations we are discussing
3The Christian Denominations Christian do NOT all believe the same thing and are divided into different groups depending on faith and establishmentThe Roman Catholic ChurchThis denomination is a traditional group of Christians who believe in Natural Law: doing what God intended in a natural way. Up until the C16th Catholics were the dominant group of Christians in Europe. Catholics are controlled by the Pope in RomeProtestant ChurchesThese are the Christian groups that developed after Martin Luther’s debate in 1517.These are modern Christians who have re-interpreted the Bible and have a different view to the Roman Catholics.These Christians are NOT controlled by the Pope.
4Just War CriteriaNo one likes war but that does not mean that it cannot be justified sometimes.Some people feel that, at times, war is the only option leftJust War: a war that is justified using certain criteria established by Tomas Aquinas in the 13th centuryThe criteria fits into two categories:Jus ad bellum – when it is right to go to warJus in bello – how a war should be fought
5Just War Criteria Jus ad bellum (when it is right to go to war) Jus in bello(how a war should be foughtLast Resort – all other methods must tried firstRight intention - the intention of war is to right a wrongJust Cause - there must a good reason for going to warRight authority – only public authorities are legitimate, terrorist organisations are not enoughComparative justice – the suffering caused must be less than the suffering that existsProbability of success – there is no point in fighting and wasting lives if you’re not going to winDiscrimination – acts of war should be directed at the combatants not civiliansMinimum force – death and destruction should be limitedProportionality – the force used must be proportional to the wrong endured and to the possible good that may come
6PacifismAlthough a lot of people would agree that war should be a last resort, some Christians do not believe that war and violence is acceptable at all.These people believe that violence can be solved through peaceful approaches and a calm attitude.Pacifism: a rejection of war and violence in preference of using peaceful methods. Violence fuels violenceThroughout history we have seen a number of pacifists but the two most notable are from recent history (20th Century)Mahatma Gandhi:a pacifist living in India during British OccupationMartin Luther King Jr:a pacifist living in USA during black segregation
7Conscientious Objectors History saw a rise in conscientious objectors during the 20th century when going to war was made to be a legal requirementConscientious Objector: a person who refuses to go to war, even if that means breaking the law, due to their conscience and personal beliefsFear of death1Not want to kill others2Finance3Destruction caused4There are a number of reasons why someone might be a conscientious objector:
8Conscientious Objectors People who refused to go to war during the 20th century were seen as suspiciousOne man, Albert Rowland, was watched by the police, arrested, had his home ransacked and was put in prison for his role as a conscientious objector during the second world war.Although some were put in prison, others performed jobs for the war effort that did not involve violence1Stretcher bearer2Ambulance driver3Telephone operator4Voluntary police
9PunishmentWhen people commit a crime there are consequences of their actions, this can range from a fine, to community service to a period of time spent in prison.RetributionThe debt you owe society for your crimeDeterrenceTo stop you or others committing the same crimeProtectionTo protect society from you and your crimesReformationEducating people to help them find a job on leavingVindicationUpholding the law to show that crime will not be toleratedIn this country we aim to achieve 5 things by using punishmentChristians believe that God will judge all humans when they die but we must also punish people in this life if they have sinned
10“If any of you is without sin, let him throw the first stone at her” PunishmentCapital Punishment is a contentious issue. Some people feel that it is the only solution for certain crimes, whereas others think that we do not have the right to take someone’s life“If any of you is without sin, let him throw the first stone at her”The Christian view on capital punishment fits into two sections:An eye for an eye: some people deserve to lose their lives due the crime they committedForOnly God can give and take life. If someone is dead they cannot repent and we cannot forgive themAgainst
11Social InjusticeThere are people all over the world today whose lives are directly affected by social injusticeSocial injustice: a situation where people are treated badly due to corrupt governments and restricted human rightsThere are people in prisons who do not know why they are there or how long they will be kept. There are people who have been arrested and imprisoned due to them exercising their freedom of speech. There are people who are being tortured and executed.
12Social InjusticeDuring the 20th century a policy was developed in order to help people who were being treated unfairly. This was called Liberation Theology. It is predominant in South America.Liberation Theology: God is seen as a liberator. People use the example of Jesus to stand up for what is right even if it means breaking the lawOscar Romero was Archbishop of El Salvador.He encouraged his congregation to stand up to the military rule and do what they thought was right.He was assassinated in his Church during mass: this only encouraged his followers to continue their fight for justice
13Social InjusticeAmnesty International is an organisation that was developed in 1961 by Peter Benenson (a British lawyer) in response to two students being arrested and imprisoned for toasting their freedom.Amnesty International: a world wide organisation that helps and supports people who have their human rights restrictedAnyone can join the organisation and help to raise awarenessThey tackle areas such as false imprisonment, torture inquiries, talking to people on death rowThey are a peaceful organisation and do not advocate violence
14Exam Practice Question Religion, Peace and Justice – this exam question is worth 24 marksWhat is pacifism? (1)Give two examples of what Christians might consider to be social injustice (2)Why would a Christian support the use of prisons? (3)What are Christian attitudes towards war? (6)“The death penalty is the only way to tackle criminals”. Discuss this statement. Give different, supported viewpoints including a personal viewpoint. You must refer to Christianity (12)Remember: Part E is an ESSAY question and must be written in an essay style with PEE paragraphs in order to attain all 12 marks