Warfare In Religion

Improved Essays
In this essay, I will be comparing the attitudes that Christianity, Hindiusm, and Islam have had towards war, and how it has changed and affected each religion 's development throughout history. The study of warfare in religion is important because the ability of the three largest religions to survive to the modern day is not found in the religious message, but rather in times of conflict, where the foundations for immense growth were laid. Even if these modern religions denounce war and violence now, it is important to realise that war has and will always be a core component, whether if it was for self-defence, or simply a God-given duty to fight for one 's people. As a result, different teachings about conflict can be found within the holy …show more content…
Hindu scripture also states that armies must also follow rules that preserve the honor in combat, prohibiting acts such as poisoning wells and attacking women and children; the penalty for which is an eternity in hell. This honourable approach to conflict can also be observed in the warrior-like aspects of Hindu gods and goddesses, which are revered as something to strive towards. Finally, the most violent religion was Islam in it 's early development phase. In Islam, conflict was necessary in every stage in order to get the base of believers to grow enough so that it would become a serious religion and a regional influence. One of the most important of these battles was the unlikely muslim victory at the Battle of Badr against the larger Quaraysh force. In this battle, the regional influence of Islam and it 's followers is secured by the capture of Mecca, which is believed to be the divine influence of God. This influence did not end with Muhammad 's death, as Islam experienced the greatest amount of growth after his death, as his followers expanded the religion with tremendous speed. Reflecting this, the Qu 'ran, which is considered to be pure …show more content…
Each religion in this period engaged in holy conflicts, either on the offence or on the defence, going into battle with the belief that their deity was on their side. As such, the attitudes of war have changed significantly to meet the demands of leaders and to better serve the people. In particular, Chirstianity sees a huge change from a completely pacifist message to the justification of combat depending on if it was being used for a holy cause, or if it was being used for an evil cause. One good example of such a revolutionary Catholic thinker is Saint Augustine, who introduced the idea of a just war into the general Christian doctrine, which was arrived at by interpreting scripture and the realization that pacifism, while ideal in a perfect world, was not possible in a sinful one. These ideas faced criticism - with many Christian branches breaking off as a result. However, the concept of a 'Just war ' became accepted and was later expanded and revised by Saint Thomas Aquinas, who considered requirements such as Last Resort, Legitimate Authority, Just Cause, Probability of Success, Right Intention, Proportionality, and the avoidance of Civilian Casualties when determining of the legitimacy of any sanctioned conflict. However, even though the list of causes for a Just War appear to be rational, there remained a series of ethical problems such

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Religion's Role In Wars

    • 1081 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Passionate religious practitioners have commonly believed that it is the will of “God” to wage war in order to spread their religion. Religious leaders have led wars ad have promised spiritual rewards for partakers. There are several instances in the Bible where God instructed his people to go to war. The first holy war occurred when Roman emperor Constantine saw a vision in the sky that signified he would win his war against the pagans. To continue, The Crusades occurred in order to regain sacred land from the Muslims and to avenge poor treatment of Christians.…

    • 1081 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    For example, the Qu 'ran allows for physical Jihad to remove any barriers to Islamic Da 'wah (proselytization), while the Bible permits killing in terms of warfare, which can be seen when God commands King Saul to destroy Amalek, the enemy of the Israelites as seen in 1 Samuel, Verse 15. For Hinduism, the middle ages can be seen as a continuation of the earlier stages of development, but with many large scale conflicts occurring as Muslim forces attacked from both Asia and Persia. In this era, the main Hindu focus was on protecting their territory from the rapidly expanding Muslim populations; seeing as it is the dharma of the second highest caste, the Kshatiyas to do so. However, even though there was a focus on protecting…

    • 1622 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    There was also a Christian conference going on when World War I started that was trying to resolve the conflict before it began. While they may not have succeeded in preventing the war, they showed a dedication to peacemaking that set an example that resulted in the formation of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. All of these are examples of how religion can used for peaceful conflict resolution. Religious motives can fuel violent attacks, but they can create a…

    • 1952 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The fact that the Counter-Reformation was a Catholic resurgence in response to the Protestant Reformation demonstrates the seriousness of religious conflict and the extent to which reformists would go to have their religion as the superior one. This demonstrates how the Thirty Years War was a continuation of previous religious struggles which were exacerbated through dividing Germany into Catholic and Protestant divisions who were willing to fight for their belief and helped pushed the motivations for the continuation of the…

    • 774 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Post Classical Islam

    • 1624 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The largest obstacle was getting others to believe that their god, and doctrine was to the only true god and doctrine. Even today both faiths fight to show supremacy above other belief systems. During the post classical era, holy and secular wars were being fought to expand religious ideas as well as imperial territory. Today, Christianity and Islam are two of the most powerful religions in the world, and unfortunately wars are still being fought in their name. Perhaps war was needed in the past to attain the great power that these religions did, it is most unnecessary in today’s world.…

    • 1624 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The crusades were also wars of two religions, also making it a holy war. Lastly, they were “god 's orders” as claimed by the Catholics. Although many records of history lean towards the answer of “Can the crusades be considered a holy way” to be yes, some sources show that the crusades may not have been strictly religiously driven. In 1096, the first crusades were launched against…

    • 1603 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Microtheme #4 In Western usage, the word “Crusade” has lost it’s original meaning “A war of the cross.” When used in Western terms the word has been associated with religion, and has also been associated with “Good vs Evil.” Yet “Crusade” remains a very sensitive word in the Middle East, were the Crusades are still seen as a loss and defeat against what is most important, religion. Religious beliefs have been used as a tool of war to further social, political and religious aims. This discussion will focus on three examples of how religion has been used in Muslim, Western and American conflict. The Battle of Poitiers has been noted by historians as the turning point of one of the most important epochs in world history. In an Arab chronicle, the Battle of Poitiers is portrayed in a poetic light.…

    • 810 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    After the Pope Urban II’s preach other bishops started spreading the word that the people needed to fight for their sins to be forgiven. “The crusade provided a means for such men to turn their talent for warfare and bloodshed into a means of their own salvation.” (Madden, 13) Madden also states that even women and the elderly would be demanding to be crossed so that they too could find salvation. Religion played a huge role on the crusades. It is a very important factor and reason for the crusades. Soldiers fought for their beliefs.…

    • 1725 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They also both say that the war must be fought with good intentions; for the Muslims, the war must be fought because they are trying to obey Allah and do what the Qur’an says. A Just war must be fought with the intentions that after the war is over, the outcome should make everyone’s lives better and easier. Someone might argue that war is right because without it, there would be a greater evil in the world that no war could end. They would also say that whenever there is war, new technology is developed which puts us ahead of our time, for example in WWI tanks were created then in WWII bombs and machine guns were used. War helps the world to take different courses in history because whoever wins the war gets to write the…

    • 918 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Einhard described Charlemagne as an extremely determined king, willing to do whatever was necessary to enforce the Saxons to truly convert to Christianity. Because he attacked Saxony under religious conviction, he validated the purpose for the war by claiming God’s support, which justified all affliction he brought upon pagans. But Charlemagne’s active approach contrasted with the conflict in Paris where the Franks became the victims. Here, nobles and clerics involvement in warfare emphasized how and why Christians modeled the ruler’s responsibility to protect the Church. Clergy remained steadfast in their burden to convert pagan Northmen to Christianity, and they were supposedly most effective by praying, fasting, and petitioning for deliverance from the Vikings.…

    • 1075 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics