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Freedom from Violence: Sectarian Nonresistance from the Middle Ages to the Great War
x, 385 pp. "As long as governments engage in warfare, there will be citizens who organize to resist. The roots of nonviolent activism in Western society are deep, going back centuries in Europe and crossing over to North America more than three hundred years ago. Peter Brock traces the history of a long line of Christian sects that have rejected both the violence involved in war and the violence involved in the administration of the state, concluding the story with the outbreak of the Great War in 1914."Among the earliest of these groups to emerge were the medieval Waldenses and the Czech Brethren in Hussite Bohemia. The idea of nonviolence appeared again at the time of the Protestant Reformation among the Anabaptists in central Europe and the Hutterites of Moravia, whose radical witness included community of goods as well as refusal to bear arms or pay war taxes."In the Netherlands the followers of the Anabaptist Menno Simons--the Mennonites--gained exemption from military service under the tolerant rule of William of Orange. In countries like the Netherlands, which enjoyed extensive religious freedom, the Mennonites eventually became acculturated to society and, by the end of the eighteenth century, had abandonded nonresistance. In Prussia, Mennonites accepted the government's offer of noncombatant service in the army, while in Russia their conscripts obtained the right to do alternative service of a civilian character."Those Mennonites who rejected such provisions emigrated to North America where Mennonite settlements have existed since the end of the seventeenth century. Brock focuses on the experiences of the North American Mennonites' conscientious objectors, first during the American Revolution and then during the Civil War."Brock also deals with other similarly minded opponents of war, including the Anti-trinitarians of Poland at the time of the Reformati...
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Book Description Univ of Toronto Pr, 1991. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0802058795