Christentum und Kriegsgewalt

Today the relationship between war and Christianity is increasingly being read - from the position of mitlitant Islamism - as fanaticism-exciting religious radicalization in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Only the secularization of war is thought to habe brought about a constraining ra...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Theologische Quartalschrift
Main Author: Holzem, Andreas 1961-
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:German
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Published: 2011
In:Theologische Quartalschrift
Year: 2011, Volume: 191, Issue: 4, Pages: 315-340
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B War / Violence / Christianity
Further subjects:B Theology
B Holy war
B Third Sacred War
B Just war
B Violence
B War
B historical overview
B Historischer Überblick
B Christianity
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Summary:Today the relationship between war and Christianity is increasingly being read - from the position of mitlitant Islamism - as fanaticism-exciting religious radicalization in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Only the secularization of war is thought to habe brought about a constraining rationalization of violence. Alternatively one can discern that the Christian theories of war since Augustine represent a new religio-historical phenomenon: the close linkage of kingship and the cult of war, typical of all religions surrounding Judaism and Christianity, has been overcome. War can therefore be reflected upon in the context of an individual and collective history of guilt, is subject to justification, and can be limited. But at the same time, with the Christianization of the Roman Empire, the Christian priests are to assume all those funktions which were hitherto the responsibility of the pagan military cults, in particular the mobilization of divine help for victory. This dichotomy shapes the relationship between Christianity and the violence of war from antiquity to the Enlightenment, as the epoch-spanning sketch shows. The "holiness" of war is first introduced with mass impact in the modern age for mobilizing peoples's wars. Here the churches habe frequently allowed themselves to be enlisted for a mythologization of "people" and "nation". It cannot be reasonably maintained that the Christianity of the pre-modern period was a particulary war-promoting religion and that correspondingly the advancing secularization of the political world served peace in a special way. Rather, in its essential principles, secular international law is founded on the Christian guidelines for thinking about the ethics of war.
ISSN:0342-1430
Contains:In: Theologische Quartalschrift
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.15496/publikation-35218
HDL: 10900/93834