Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Das zweischneidige Schwert der Friedfertigkeit. Die Bibel als Ressource im politischen Diskurs des 17. Jahrhunderts am Beispiel der frühen Quäker
Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, Vol. 44 (2017), Iss. 2 : pp. 189–211
1 Citations (CrossRef)
Dr. Andreas Pietsch, Exzellenzcluster Religion und Politik, Johannisstraße 1, 48143 Münster
Das Zeitalter der Ambiguität
2021https://doi.org/10.7788/9783412521226.365 [Citations: 0]
The article engages with recent work about the biblical legitimation of violence in pre-modern Europe and with research on the Quakers. It aims to add nuances to the hypothesis that passages of the Apocalypse were among the most popular biblical texts used for the legitimation of violence, and discusses two examples from 17th-century England. The “Door of Hope”, which has ties to Thomas Venner’s revolt, uses passages of the Apocalypse to propagate violent political rebellion. The “Quaker Peace Testimony”, on the other hand, uses some of the same biblical passages to propagate absolute pacifism. As this comparison shows, the mere selection of certain biblical passages says little about how a text uses those passages in its argument; a more in-depth analysis is necessary. Such an analysis also shows that the pacifism of the “Quaker Peace Testimony” does not only result from a selective reading of the Bible focused on more peaceable passages, but actively reinterprets the discussion of violence. According to this reinterpretation, violence is illegitimate for mankind, but legitimate for God, who is cast as a potentially violent protector of the weak and persecuted, such as the Quakers themselves. Violence is thus transferred to a transcendent plane rather than elided completely.