A Christian perspective on violence : Stanley Hauerwas and the Korean church
This dissertation is a study about Stanley Hauerwas' Christian social ethics on violence, and its relevance and contribution to the Korean Protestant church in overcoming its social ethical problems, its compromised and distorted teaching on violence, and misunderstanding of Christian pacifism; as well as rediscovering its own identity and distinctiveness. The primary reason for adopting and applying Hauerwas' social ethics in the Korean church is that his account of violence is not simply a portrayal of an ethic of war, but rather an attempt to create a new paradigm of Christian ethics, a rediscovery of the church's identity and social ethical task, of Christians' primary loyalty, and a community's practices and discipleship for peacemaking. The weakness in the Korean church's distinctive theological teaching on social ethics and war involves secular ethics, and has resulted in its becoming compromised and distorted with secularism, humanism, anticommunist ideology and survivalist nuclear pacifism. The Korean church's perspective on violence is based on a sociopolitical and geopolitical situation rather than Christian convictions and practices. As a result the church has failed to build up a distinctive moral community to witness to the peaceable kingdom. Hauerwas' account of Christian pacifism can help the Korean church 'to be the church' for peacemaking in a violent world. The thesis consists of nine chapters divided into three parts. Part One is to examine and analyse critically the social ethical problems of the Korean church in the theological, historical, socio-political and military context. Part Two discusses Hauerwas' understanding of ethics, of character, Christian social ethics, the Christian community's practices and life of nonviolence, and Christian pacifism. Also considered are his theological politics, the church as a social ethic, a Christian challenge to conventional decision-making ethics, the social responsibility of the church, and the controversial argument regarding just war and pacifism. Part Three deals with how Hauerwas' social ethics could be relevant to the Korean Christian context. In spite of the limitation of his overemphasis on the distinctiveness of the Christian community, and probable difficulty with such a concept within this Third World culture, his account of nonviolence could constructively contribute in overcoming the social ethical dilemmas as to evangelism or social responsibility, and just war or nuclear pacifism, as well as leading the Korean church to rediscover the focus of the Christian community's task for peacemaking in our violent world.