The Power of Nonviolence in Procuring Lasting Sociopolitical and Economic Change: A Christian Ethical Perspective


The world-wide phenomenon of violence today has become a dominating issue of profound concern among ethicists and social science scholars. Violence often finds breeding grounds where there is injustice and inequality. The issues of the place of violent actions in unjust systems and whether or not we should embark upon violent actions to bring about the needed change have been issues for long and protracted debate and conflicting opinions. A wide range of opinions exists concerning the potency of violence in actualizing the needed socio - political change in our society. Philosophers like Karl Marx, Lenin, Frantz Fanon and some liberation theologians see violence as a necessary tool in bringing about the needed change in the society. However, others like Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahatma Gandhi and many others have advocated for the effective transformation and liberation of the society without violence. This paper discusses the subjects of violence and non-violence from an ethical perspective and seeks to answer the question specifically from the viewpoint of Christian ethics, which is concerned with the rightness or wrongness of human actions on the basis of the moral teachings of Christianity. The paper argues in favour of non violence, insisting that meaningful changes can take place even within the most callous structures of today by applying the Christian ethics of non-violence. It concludes that the non-violent approach to social revolution rather than violent methods stands as the more moral and effective means of reaching more moral and lasting ends.

Author Information
Christian Onyenaucheya Uchegbue, University of Calabar, Nigeria

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2015
Stream: Religion - Religion and Peace Studies

This paper is part of the ACERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon