The Challenge of Terrorism and War
Ours is a period in history where the problem of terrorism has come to occupy the center stage of our concerns. Fr. Podimattam’s book is a much-needed Christian approach to this topic. Faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail. Christ’s word is the only one that can give a response to the questions which trouble our spirit.
Discussing first the inhumanity of terrorism, the author elaborates the ethics of violent resistance movements. “Global terrorism is an aberration; and it needs to be countered as effectively as possible. But how is this to be done at all, unless we are also willing to heed the message that cries out through every instance of terrorism? It is laughably naive to assume that by taking out terrorist camps and facilities, the world will be made a safer place to live in. Nothing, however, is farther from the truth. A far more useful thing to do is to address the factors that breed terrorism, especially the hurt and humiliation that are the byproducts of a world order based on brutal power and the double standards that go with it.”
The related topic of the just war is treated next, with the present teaching of the Church about it. Arguments against the just war follow, with a chapter on the morality of conscientious objection.
In the following part, the very modern concerns of disarmament and the quest for peace are dealt with.
He concludes with valuable practical proposals to remove violence from our lives. “I can contribute my mite, not because I will be a hero but because I am another Christ”.
Felix Podimattam OFM Cap. is professor of moral theology at St. Francis Theological College, Kottayam, Kerala. He received his Doctor of Theology degree from the Alphonsian Academy, Rome and wrote his dissertation under the direction of Bernard Haring. He also has an M.A. in Political Science from the Mysore University and an M.A. in Systematic Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome, besides postdoctoral studies in Washington, DC, U.S.A. He has authored more than 45 books on contemporary moral theology and spiritual theology and contributed articles to various theological journals in India and abroad. He belongs to the Association of Moral Theologians of India, as whose President he served for eight years.