Gospel nonviolence in action: Religion as divider and uniter

Image by CC BY Christian Senger, Creative Commons licence CC BY

Image by CC BY Christian Senger, Creative Commons licence CC BY

What does Gospel nonviolence look like in action? The Fellowship of Reconciliation held a joint conference with the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship looking at this, and included a talk from the Revd David Mumford. Over a series of 14 blogs, some short and some longer, he outlines the different themes and topics covered in his presentation. 

Religion is often seen as a divisive factor. Certainly, where religion is strongly bound up with tribal identity (as in Northern Ireland, Greece, increasingly in Russia, in the conflicts in the break up of former Yugoslavia and in the Middle East) it is difficult to disentangle the different threads. Yet all work which shows what in each faith tradition makes for nonviolence (or, indeed, places limits on the use of violence) helps to erode religious support for violence. Christian teachings on nonviolence and peace help to undermine Christian support for armed conflict; work in Islam that shows how weapons of mass destruction are incompatible with Koranic teaching or how restricted is the Koranic approval is for violence in the context of Jihad helps to reclaim faith-based nonviolence.