The Paradox of Peace: Theology in the Pews


by John Franke, DPhil

Peace is often simply defined as the absence of conflict, but in the biblical tradition it means much more than this. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, points not merely to the absence of overt conflict but to a state of ordered tranquility that is the result of right relationships with God, neighbor, and the whole of creation. It is the interconnectedness of all things for their mutual benefit, something that comes from, and manifests, the goodness of the Creator. Peace is the very intention and gift of God and connotes the spiritual and material well-being of both individuals and the community as a whole that is the result of covenant faithfulness to ways of God in the world.john-franke

The concept of peace in the New Testament builds on the Hebrew notion of shalom and intensifies its spiritual dimension as being connected to a life…

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