Chapter

The Critique of Religious War

Norman Housley

in Religious Warfare in Europe 1400-1536

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552283
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191716515 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552283.003.0006
 The Critique of Religious War

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The tendency to sanctify warfare was criticized for a number of reasons. First there was the issue of human agency, the perception that placing God's work in the hands of his sinful creation all too often led to defeat because the advocates of the holy cause fought for the wrong reasons. In the case of Tabor the theme was developed by Nicholas of Pelhřimov. His contemporary Peter Chelčický voiced a more thoroughgoing condemnation of the use of violence for religious purposes, a line of argument that was eloquently reiterated a century later by Erasmus and the pacifist Anabaptists. Overseas discoveries created opportunities for conversion that spawned lively debate about whether the use of force to win souls could be legitimate.

Keywords: Nicholas of Pelhřimov; Peter Chelčický; Erasmus; Anabaptists; Henry the Navigator

Chapter.  16435 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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