Both Swords and Ploughshares par Ineke Bockting et Linda Martz (éd.)

Publication de l’ouvrage Both Swords and Ploughshares. Interactions of War, Peace, and Religion in America from the War of Independance to the Present, Newcaste upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015, 264 pages.

I. BocktingThis collection of essays examines interactions of war, peace and religion in the United States, a country where religious faith was, and still is, often deeply felt and widely held, where faith has provided a set of values to uphold with fervor or to transgress in protest, and where religion has been used to legitimize both armed violence and passive resistance.

These essays analyze the mythos of America as a place of religious freedom, yet one imbued with a socially-imposed civil religion and underpinned by a heavy presumption of Protestant dominance.

With subjects ranging from the War of Independence to the early 21st century, the contributions to this volume focus on a variety of historical and chronological circumstances in order to consider what concrete, tangible outcomes, what artifacts, were produced by the interface of war, peace and religion – the swords and ploughshares of the title.

This volume thus presents a variety of often multifaceted responses that reflect its interdisciplinary scope. Some contributions refer to fine art pieces, including statues, paintings, and murals, and others to works of literature, theology, or public speaking. Some of these interfaces were performed on stage or in film, while yet others were heard on the radio or read in newspapers or journals.

Some of the essays gathered here concern individuals working through the meaning of armed conflict in terms of their own, personal faith, while others examine the impact of such conflicts on a larger scale, as with whole faith communities or in the shaping of national or foreign policy.

The first part, Communities, looks at interfaces that served to structure a whole community. The second, Margins, examines instances where the relationship between religion and war and peace has occupied a more marginal space within a faith community. The final section turns this interface Outward, situating it away from American soil or noting how foreign war shaped the spirituality of those returning.

Ineke Bockting est professeur à la Faculté des Lettres de l’Institut Catholique de Paris.