Synopses & Reviews
Today, we live in a world where we are less exposed to violence than at any other time in history. However, we also know that violence can come knocking on our door at any moment. Preparing for this possibility means more than physical safety; it means being clear with ourselves about the ethics of violence. Can violence be justified? When should we fight? How should we fight? And in situations when things have gone badly, may we kill? These questions are not only for politicians, soldiers, and police officers, but are also important considerations for civilians whose lives do not normally intersect with violence. Whether advocating for government policies, marching in the streets, or defending ourselves and loved ones, a coherent moral framework is essential to good decision-making. May I Kill? examines the efficacy of different approaches to non-violence and Just War Theory. By scrutinizing these ethical theories, the reader is encouraged to critically examine occasions for the use of force from a moral perspective, whether nations at war or violent encounters in our own neighborhoods. We may then determine how best to develop ourselves--body, mind, and spirit--to respond effectively and make the world a safer place. ""May I Kill? provides a fascinating and highly relevant introduction to the ethics of violence. Drawing upon the history of warfare and his own personal experiences, Mann guides the reader through virtues and vices associated with Western pacifism, Eastern non-violence, and Just War Theory. While not all readers will share his conclusions, Mann's treatment of these controversial subjects is critical, fair, and thought-provoking. . . . This excellent book is insightful for everyone "" --Jennifer Beste, Professor of Theology, College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota ""In a world of confusion, obfuscation, word misusage, and concept muddling, Jeffrey K. Mann brings clarity to the world of self-defense, violence, and war. You think you have a grasp on the topic, and you may . . . but your view will be richer, and firmly practical after you read May I Kill? Absolutely brilliant "" --Kris Wilder, Human Performance Coach, Best Selling Author, United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame member ""In an accessible, folksy style, Dr. Mann has provided a scholarly examination of the ethics of violence. He creatively uses Just War Theory and his experience as a martial artist to explore interpersonal conflict. College students should read the book: it contains lots of ideas for what to do if a fight is imminent, as well as many tools for wrestling with moral dilemmas."" --Jim Higginbotham, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care, Earlham School of Religion Jeffrey K. Mann is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Susquehanna University, where he teaches world religions, church history, and ethics. He is the author of Shall We Sin? (2003) and When Buddhists Attack (2012). He also holds a 4th degree blackbelt in Okinawan karate.