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Christian Non-Resistance

Ballou, Adin

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ISBN 10: 0972501711 / ISBN 13: 9780972501712
Published by Blackstone Editions, Providence, RI, 2003
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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Light general wear. Overall a nice clean copy. Bookseller Inventory # 000354

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Christian Non-Resistance

Publisher: Blackstone Editions, Providence, RI

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

About this title

Synopsis:

Christian Non-Resistance (1846) is the major philosophical statement by the nineteenth-century theorist of nonviolence, Adin Ballou.

Ballou argued that the Biblical injunction "resist not evil" should be understood as "resist not personal injury with personal injury." While prohibiting the injury of any person under any provocation whatsoever, Ballou taught that Christians have a duty to resist, oppose, or prevent evil by all uninjurious means, including the use of "uninjurious benevolent force." He believed that this would allow a community to adopt non-resistant principles while still maintaining public safety and order.

Once dismissed as a relic of the naïve and sentimental optimism of pre-Civil War America, Christian Non-Resistance is now recognized as an important contribution to the theory of nonviolent resistance. Ballou's combination of the utmost moral resistance to evil with the uninjurious physical restraint of evildoers provides a conceptually simple, flexible approach to the problem of resisting evil without becoming evil oneself.

This edition contains the essay "Christian Non-Resistance in Extreme Cases" (1860), in which Ballou takes up a type of challenge often put to pacifists: "Suppose a robber attacks you in some lonely place on the highway? Suppose you and your family are attacked by a gang who design to commit rape, robbery and murder? How can the downtrodden peoples of the earth ever gain their liberty without fighting to the death against their tyrants?"

About the Author:

Adin Ballou (1803-1890), the founder of the utopian community of Hopedale, Massachusetts, was a leading nineteenth-century pacifist, socialist, and abolitionist. Unlike many other reformers of his time Ballou did not abandon his pacifist principles during the Civil War. His version of pacifism, which he called Christian Non-Resistance, was admired by Leo Tolstoy and, through Tolstoy, influenced the great twentieth-century non-violent activists, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

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