The Justifications for War and Peace in World Religions – Part II: Extracts, Summaries and Comparisons of Scriptures in Indic Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism)

La justification de la guerre et de la paix dans les religions du monde – Partie II: Extraits, sommaires et comparaisons des textes sacrés des religions d'origine indo-aryenne (Bouddhisme, Hindouisme, Jaïnisme et Sikhisme)


  1. Dorn, A.W.
  2. Balkaran, R.
  3. Feldman, S.
  4. Gucciardi, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Canadian Forces Coll, Toronto ONT (CAN) Information Resource Centre
One of the most important decisions of any nation or armed group is when, if ever, to wage war or apply armed force. Such life-and-death judgements are informed by and sometimes determined by ethical principles and religious beliefs. World religions all provide guidelines on when armed force is justified. Are the permissions and prohibitions similar among religions? The present work seeks to map out the spectrum of religious approaches to armed force, as expressed in the scriptures of the world’s largest religions. Though the interpretations of religious scriptures vary considerably, the texts themselves provide a sense of each religion’s approach to the issue. Covering values from absolute pacifism, where armed force is not permissible under any circumstances, to strong militancy, where armed force is readily adopted, this research compiles, compares and contrasts important scriptural passages. Along with the associated DRDC reports, it presents a tour d’horizon, surveying scriptures from seven world religions. The previous report, constituting Part I of the work, analyses three Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) while this report, Part II, covers religions of Indic origin (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism). The important scriptures from each religion are briefly introduced and the relevant verses are extracted, categorized and summarized. This makes possible, in each religion, the juxtaposition of passages justifying the use of force with pas

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War;Armed force;Religion;Buddhism;Buddist;Hinduism;Hindu;Jainism;Jain;Sikhism;Sikh;Indic;Scriptures;Permissions;Prohibitions;Pacifism;Militancy;Spectrum of force;Culture
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2010-034 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Apr 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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