Of all the terrible subsidiary dilemmas stemming from the problem of evil, few are as intractable as the problem of war: the raw data of the Biblical deposit of revelation seems to point toward opposite responses. Through Christian history, most of the theological wrestling with the issue has come from the Christian West, proposing and defending either just war or pacifism. Father Alexander, an Orthodox priest and military chaplain, harvests the sources of Orthodox theological and spiritual tradition and proposes that the Christian East supports both. In this book he describes the roots of the Orthodox pacifist tradition, and in a second (see below) he does the same with the tradition of justifiable war (which he insistently differentiates from typical just war ''lesser of two evils'' theory). He first enumerates fundamental principles of Orthodox theology, then offers in the main body of his book the biblical, patristic, hagiographic, canonical, and literary support for pacifism. Though a chaplain, Fr. Alexander presents the most comprehensive rationale for pacifism ever given from an Orthodox perspective. This is scholarship of the highest calibre. Light cover wear, solid binding, unmarked text. Tight, square copy.
An Eighth Day View:
In this path-breaking study, Fr. Alexander Webster convincingly demonstrates that a distinctive pacifist trajectory, characterized by the moral virtues of non-violence, nonresistance, voluntary kenotic suffering, and universal forgiveness, has endured through two millennia of Eastern Orthodox history in unbroken continuity with the ancient Church. Webster consults a vast array of primary texts including Holy Scripture, patristic writing through the Byzantine era that terminated in AD 1453, Orthodox canon law from the Seven Ecumenical Councils and other Byzantine Greek legal sources among others. Of interest to historians and to students of theology and religion.