Summary of History of Christian Attitudes towards Violence and St. Augustine’s Contribution to the Problem

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Question 1: Summary of History of Christian Attitudes towards Violence and St. Augustine’s Contribution to the Problem

According to early biblical teachings, Christians are instructed by God through the Holy Spirit to love their neighbors as they love themselves. Their references are based on the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ teachings on the Sermon on the Mount. Before Emperor Constantine’s rule, early Christians refused to engage in war, lest they betray their beliefs. For instance, they refused to join the Roman army stationed for war. However, they believed that violence with their opponents was an act of spreading their faith ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”Vp3lXbgA”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Volf)”,”plainCitation”:”(Volf)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:[{“id”:972,”uris”:[“”],”uri”:[“”],”itemData”:{“id”:972,”type”:”article”,”title”:”Christianity and Violence”,”author”:[{“family”:”Volf”,”given”:”Miroslav”}],”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2004″]]}}}],”schema”:””} (Volf). Their overall belief was promoting peace and justice in the world they lived in. Many believed that unless the act of violence had justifiable reasons, engaging in war was unnecessary. They justified this type of violence as a ‘holy war.’

St Augustine contributed immensely by solving the problem of violence by coining unification in the Christian church. He believed that only unification would solve the menace of violence and measures to address the vice ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”2SdyzmJc”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Anderson 1)”,”plainCitation”:”(Anderson 1)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:[{“id”:969,”uris”:[“”],”uri”:[“”],”itemData”:{“id”:969,”type”:”article-journal”,”abstract”:”This article is a study of how Augustine’s ethics of belief shaped his arguments against unbelief and its legacy in using coercion to settle disputes. After considering the arguments for belief presented by Augustine, the article studies how these were shaped by his understanding of the problem of evil and how the Fall influenced free will. What is noted to be of benefit in Augustine is that he offers arguments in favor of belief, and is convinced that he has shown unbelief to be based on unsound reasoning. By way of contrast, a number of theologians (such as Tertullian, John Calvin, and those under the heading of Reformed Epistemology) are considered who do not believe that arguments are necessary to support belief or reject unbelief. These are contrasted with Augustine and it is argued that they have significant shortcomings in this respect. However, the article concludes that Augustine could have gone farther in supporting the claim that it is clear that God exists, and his own shortcomings have been used to justify coercion in religious belief. If common ground is to be achieved this problem must be corrected and an adequate foundation for clarity must be established.”,”archive”:”JSTOR”,”container-title”:”New Blackfriars”,”ISSN”:”0028-4289″,”issue”:”1031″,”note”:”publisher: Wiley”,”page”:”83-101″,”source”:”JSTOR”,”title”:”Augustine’s Ethics of Belief and Avoiding Violence in Religious Disputes”,”volume”:”91″,”author”:[{“family”:”Anderson”,”given”:”Owen”}],”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2010″]]}},”locator”:”1″,”label”:”page”}],”schema”:””} (Anderson 1). According to him, violence was only acceptable when its motive is to save the innocent caught up in the act. He also believed that acts of violence were sinful, and therefore obliged to the early pacifists’ beliefs of the unnecessary reasons to go into war. In his justification he said;

“We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace.” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”I63QRx4L”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Matikiti 4)”,”plainCitation”:”(Matikiti 4)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:[{“id”:973,”uris”:[“”],”uri”:[“”],”itemData”:{“id”:973,”type”:”article-journal”,”container-title”:”Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae”,”ISSN”:”1017-0499″,”issue”:”2″,”note”:”publisher: The Church History Society of Southern Africa”,”page”:”1-18″,”source”:”SciELO”,”title”:”Violence in early Christian writings: Lessons for Christians in independent Zimbabwe”,”title-short”:”Violence in early Christian writings”,”volume”:”40″,”author”:[{“family”:”Matikiti”,”given”:”Robert”}],”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2014″,12]]}},”locator”:”4″,”label”:”page”}],”schema”:””} (Matikiti 4)

Question 2: Outline the major migratory paths and settlement of the Germanic people in the late Roman Empire. What kind of challenges did they produce for the Empire?

The Germanic people comprised people of a common linguist who settled in the larger parts of Europe in the Iron Age. However, they continued with their migration further into Britain, Gaul, Italy, North Africa, Spain, and the western part of Europe following the fall of the Roman Empire ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”xV60uLQr”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Crabben)”,”plainCitation”:”(Crabben)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:[{“id”:975,”uris”:[“”],”uri”:[“”],”itemData”:{“id”:975,”type”:”article”,”title”:”Migration Age”,”author”:[{“family”:”Crabben”,”given”:”Jan”,”dropping-particle”:”van der”}],”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2010″]]}}}],”schema”:””} (Crabben). These people were nomads in nature, causing them to move from a region to another, practicing subsistence agriculture during their migratory course. Under the guidance of strong leaders, their numbers continued to grow in numbers and ventured into more permanent building settlements. The Romans considered them as barbarian and uncivilized., oblivious that they would eventually overthrow their reign.

The result of the migration was war with the communities that they came into contact with. The Roman Empire experienced pressure due to the increased population growth of the nomads. Among the Germanic tribes that overpowered the Roman Empire include Suebes, Vandals, Saxons, Lombards, Franks, Ostrogoths and Visigoths. The weakening of the Roman Empire’s political ties also led to a weakening of its military strength. Moreover, the Germanic people had a strong military, which they believed was made possible by their gods of war, Wodan, and Thor. They believed that these gods provided a spiritual strength to their success and overpowering of the Roman Empire. The fall of the Roman Empire was from a betrayal of a Germanic soldier in the Roman army ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”O5r4ouu1″,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Drake 6)”,”plainCitation”:”(Drake 6)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:[{“id”:976,”uris”:[“″],”uri”:[“″],”itemData”:{“id”:976,”type”:”article”,”title”:”Changes in North Atlantic Oscillation drove Population Migrations and the Collapse of the Western Roman Empire”,”author”:[{“family”:”Drake”,”given”:”B. Lee”}],”issued”:{“date-parts”:[[“2017″]]}},”locator”:”6″,”label”:”page”}],”schema”:””} (Drake 6). He became the first Italian king, ending the Western Roman Empire. In and addition, the effects of the migration and settlement of the Germanic people were intermarriages and the exchange of cultural beliefs and practices.

Works Cited

ADDIN ZOTERO_BIBL {“uncited”:[],”omitted”:[],”custom”:[]} CSL_BIBLIOGRAPHY Anderson, Owen. “Augustine’s Ethics of Belief and Avoiding Violence in Religious Disputes.” New Blackfriars, vol. 91, no. 1031, Wiley, 2010, pp. 83–101. JSTOR.

Crabben, Jan van der. Migration Age. 2010.

Drake, B. Lee. Changes in North Atlantic Oscillation Drove Population Migrations and the Collapse of the Western Roman Empire. 2017.

Matikiti, Robert. “Violence in Early Christian Writings: Lessons for Christians in Independent Zimbabwe.” Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, vol. 40, no. 2, The Church History Society of Southern Africa, Dec. 2014, pp. 1–18.

Volf, Miroslav. Christianity and Violence. 2004.

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