Monday 3rd June 2024, 7.30-9.00pm
Bristol Baptist College, BS8 3NJ

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Join with author Revd Dr Helen Paynter for the launch of her book ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers: A Biblical Theology of Human Violence’ as part of the ‘Biblical Theology for Life’ series with Zondervan Academic. We are delighted to have Ashley Hibbard to chair the event, with a panel of respondents including Katya Covrett, Mary Gregory, and Trevor Laurence.

This volume in Biblical Theology for Life series dives deeply into the topic of human violence. Before exploring what the Bible says about violence, Old Testament scholar Helen Paynter sets out the contours for the study ahead by addressing the various definitions of violence and the theories of its origins, prevalence, and purpose. What is violence? Is there such a thing as “natural violence”? Is violence a human or social construct or can we describe natural phenomena as violent? How does the concept of violence relate to the concept of evil? Violence is everywhere; is it escapable? How do we resist violence?

Having queued up the questions, Helen goes through the Bible for answers, considering the creation narratives through to Exodus and considering how the first Christians responded to the structural violence of slavery and how they began to apply Jesus’ teaching. The book concludes with a discussion of what this means for Christians today for individuals, societies and the church.

So what implications does this have for the church and, for example, Black Lives Matter or the rampant xenophobia in our society or immigration and global migration issues? How do we resist evil? What does it mean to turn the other cheek when the cheek that has been slapped is not our own? How do we resist the monster without becoming the monster?


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