5.27.2010

unTapped Topic: Redemptive Violence

Can good come from violence?

There is a common, well worn theme in American literature and cinema: a person (usually a lone man) is failed by the corrupt, injustice system and is forced to take matters into his own, violent hands. Here are a few examples:

In the film "Edge of Darkness," Mel Gibson's character (Tom Craven) says "You better decide if you're hanging on the cross or bangin' in the nails." To solve the injustice of his daughter's murder, he brings violence to the powerful perpetrators.




The ultimate American example of the belief in the Redemptive uses of violence is the American Western. Here is Gary Cooper in High Noon. The Sherrif forsakes even his pacifist wife to violently solve the problems of the terrorized town.



All this leads to our topic: in real life, does violence solve anything? Pacifists tend to think that violence only causes more problems. Is this true? Are there times when violence and killing are necessary? What role should violence in media (television, film, video games, literature) play in developing our understanding of violence?

Here are a few more links to check out:

  • LINK - The effects (or lack thereof) of violent video games on our ethics and spirituality
  • LINK - "I'm a pacifist because I'm a violent son of a bitch" Theologian Stanley Hauerwas on being in a Christian pacifist minority
  • LINK - Dr. David Martin on how a pacifist religion becomes a violent power

REMEMBER: Tonight's conversation will take place at Moka. Join us at 7pm for the conversation!

1 comment:

watchman said...

IPAndrew came up with the topic for tonight.

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