Episode 20: War and Peace

Show Notes

Join our hosts Gabriel Reynolds, Mun’im Sirry, and Tzvi Novick to discuss violence as it is portrayed in the Bible and the Qur’an. Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike value peace, yet we often hear that their scriptures promote violence. From a theological perspective, does scripture in fact promote bloodshed? Some argue that moments of warfare relate to the political sphere in a concrete place and time rather than provide religious injunctions for the present day. Do the Bible and Qur’an reward religious aggression amongst believers?

In addition to raising questions about the depiction of violence in scripture, our hosts also discuss whether some of the cataclysmic events of the Qur’an and Bible are attributable to God. The drowning of the Egyptians in Exodus 15 is but one example of divine retribution upon Israel’s enemies; can God be said to be responsible for violence?

Finally, do these references to war leave space for the Qur’an and the Bible’s message of justice and peace? Can the concepts of martyrdom and jihad be reconciled with a scriptural longing for peace and harmony on Earth? Join our hosts to unpack these complicated questions in this episode of Minding Scripture.

Further Resources:

Niditch, Susan. War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence. NY: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Sizgorish, Thomas. Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1900.



IMAGE CREDIT: Wiki Creative Commons