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Overcoming modernity’s individualism: Becoming a community of peace in the face of violence

Andrew G. Suderman

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 32, No 2 (2011), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v32i2.507

Submitted: 03 March 2011
Published:  16 November 2011


Modernity’s understanding of the primacy of the individual represents a significant challenge to a holistic understanding of the vocation of the church. Furthermore, individualism, that is the understanding of oneself as separate and apart from others, is often the foundation for violence against the other as the interconnectivity, and therefore the dependence and vulnerability inherent within a relationship, is lost. When the church is relegated to serve individuals as private and individualised belief systems, it is banished to a cold, dark cell of isolation. In order to respond to violence, the church needs to create communities that restore and reconcile relationships, thus embodying peace.

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Author affiliations

Andrew G. Suderman, University of Pretoria, South Africa


peace; violence; church; individualism; Anabaptism; William T. Cavanaugh; John Zizioulas


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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