Wednesday, November 07, 2012
War and Peace in Our Time: Mormon Perspectives
(Greg Kofford Books, Inc.)
Edited by Patrick Mason, J. David Pulsipher, and Richard L. Bushman
These essays reveal how the scriptures, prophetic teachings, history, culture, rituals, and traditions of Mormonism have been, are, and can be used as warrants for a wide range of activities and attitudes—from radical pacifism to legitimation of the United States’ use of preemptive force against its enemies. As a relatively young religion that for much of its early history was simply struggling for survival, Mormonism has not yet fully grappled with some of the pressing questions of war and peace, with all of the attendant theological, social, and political ramifications. Given the LDS Church's relative stability and measure of prominence and influence in the early twenty-first century, the time is ripe to examine the historical, spiritual, and cultural resources within the tradition that provide a foundation for constructive dialogue about how individual Latter-day Saints and the institutional Church orient themselves in a world of violence. While recognizing the important contributions of previous scholars who had offered analysis and reflection on the topic, these essays offer a more sustained and collaborative examination of Mormon perspectives on war and peace, drawing on both historical-social scientific research as well as more normative (theological and ethical) arguments.