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Our Addiction to Violence: Conflict and the Johannine Community Open Access


Other title
Violence, Addiction, Johannine
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Richard Michael Manley-Tannis
Supervisor and department
Dr. Earle Sharam
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Mona-Lee Feehan
Dr. Brian Goodings
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Theological Studies
Degree level
Within the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) there is a phrase that summarises well its understanding of conflict: “Conflict is inevitable, violence is not.” The Johannine Community, as experienced in the New Testament, offers the reader an opportunity to explore how the Early Church lived out its understanding of Discipleship within a reality of various tensions – tensions in which the community lacked power. The context of the community existed within clashes that were both inter and intrapersonal – for the Johannine community there developed a reality in which people were polarised into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ From the pressure of the dominant culture of the Roman Empire, in which violence was pervasive, the religious discord between the Jewish and evolving self-identification of the Christian community to internal theological differences, the presence of conflict presented the Johannine Community with opportunities that possessed the potential for creativity or division – new life or death. There have been many approaches to better appreciate this community that has left a deep mark upon the Christian psyche. The following examination will endeavour to add to the extensive work that has come before. In order to further this ongoing dialogue, this journey will make use of some of the processes and terminology that comes from the contemporary ADR paradigm. Any approach that attempts to parallel or imagine the past with concepts foreign to its context – in this case the Johannine Community of the Early Church – possesses the potential to either trivialise or misconstrue the historical circumstance. The benefits, however, of such an approach hold the potential to offer insight that might, as of yet, been only glimpsed. Within the tension of such an approach, it is the intent of this investigation to better appreciate the Early Church through the lens of conflict as currently understood within the framework offered by ADR.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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