Confronting Religious Violence: Christian Humanism and the Moral Imagination tells the tale of Christian theocracy in the West. Who converted whom was never entirely clear: the empire did stop feeding people to the lions for public entertainment; but Christianity was theologically corrupted by its official role in legitimating empire-as-usual. That theological corruption led to crusades, inquisitions, torture, and so forth. And it leaves us with a major question: is God violent? More dangerously yet: is violence our only option in response to wrongdoing? Are we morally obligated to injure those who have injured others, to kill those who have killed others? If theocracy is a terrible idea, what is the proper relationship between church and state? We can't say that the state is never morally accountable at all. Furthermore: despite constitutional separation of church and state, hard-right Christian fundamentalism continues to play a culturally significant role in advocating military action abroad and supporting state violence at home. There is a lot at stake in reclaiming the systematic nonviolence and moral imagination of Jesus of Nazareth. ""Proclaiming Christianity that can cooperate with other religions and is understood as living the way of Jesus rather than as adherence to a theory about Jesus provides a welcome antidote to the violent God emulated by adherents of the contemporary form of Christendom, which Wallace repudiates so forcefully."" --J. Denny Weaver, author of The Nonviolent God Catherine Miles Wallace, PhD, is a cultural historian on the faculty of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She is the author of For Fidelity: How Intimacy and Commitment Enrich Our Lives (1998).
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