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The Implication of Prevention of Conflicts for Justice and Peace

In the Light of the Pastoral Letter: Gerechter Friede


Asega Primus

The author investigates the extend to which one can ethically apply the principle of «prevention» to conflicts as reflected in the pastoral letter «Gerechter Friede» of the German Episcopal Conference. He critically analyses the text of the second part of the pastoral letter, examines the outstanding controversies on it, reflects on the ethical meaning of «conflict» and «prevention» and finally attempts to apply his conclusions to the African paradigm of Church as Family. The investigation leads the author to the conclusion that conflicts are daily human experiences and may not always necessarily lead to violence. Besides, it is difficult to specify with certainty the point at which a particular conflict turns violent. Preventing them arbitrarily could be contra-productive. However, he agrees with «Gerechter Friede» that violence, especially war, can be better combated through undermining the logic of violence and counter violence rather than by its own instruments.
Contents: Cold War – Conflicts – Prevention – Violence – Weapons – Peace and Justice – Church as Family.