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Starter: What does the artist mean?

Make 2 lists: who might benefit from war and who

Why does war happen?

(1) Understand why wars

are fought.
(2) Understand religious
attitudes towards the
reasons for war.
(3) Evaluate whether the
reasons for fighting are
What are the reasons for war?

There are three main reasons for war…

Greed Self-defence Retaliation
• About gaining land, power • Most religions would • Can happen, for example
or resources accept this as it is World War 1 started as
• Greed is linked with protecting innocent answer to an
selfishness which no people (e.g. wars are assassination
religion would support described in the Old • Problem is retaliation is
Testament) spontaneous and often
• Problem is if self-defence leads to an escalation of
turns into aggression and the situation
disproportionate force is • Religions would say that
used peaceful negotiations
resolve issues better as
they diffuse things
Can war ever be justified?
Watch the video and note down the important
points in this table:
Belief 1 Belief 2 My belief
I think that…

Reasons for this Reasons for this Reasons for this

belief… belief… belief…
Christianity and Islam are both
religions of peace.
• You need to build an argument • Some might say that
Christianity is a religion of
in support of this statement. peace because…
• Use the resources given to • For example the Bible
you. teaches that…
• Jesus once said…
• You must include at least 3 key • Some might say that Islam is
teachings from each religion to a religion of peace because…
support your argument. • …

Can you construct an
argument for the other side?
Again, support your
argument with evidence.
What do Christianity and Islam teach about war and peace?
Christianity Islam
‘Those who live by the sword, die by the The word ‘Islam’ means peace.
sword.’ (Matthew 26) Allah has 99 names, one of which is As-
salaam, meaning ‘source of peace’.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ (Sermon
on the Mount) Muslims should greet each other with the
words salaam alaikum, or ‘peace be upon you.’
‘Love your enemies and pray for those
who persecute you.’ (Sermon on the

When the Prophet Muhammad was alive,

Muslims had to fight against those who were
“Everyone one must commit themselves attacking their faith. That is why holy war
(fighting to defend their faith) is seen as a
to peace.” (Pope John Paul II) duty by some Muslims.
Some parts of the Old Testament do call ‘Hate your enemy wisely, for he may become
for people to defend God’s kingdom and your friend one day.’ (Hadith – teaching of
to attack those who oppose God. the Prophet)
Good reasons to go to war?

Choose 1 of the reasons below and evaluate it. Find

points (at least 3) why it is a good reason to got to war
and 3 why it isn’t. You can include religious as well as
personal views.


• Selfish; not loving
so against most
religions (Golden
Rule); nothing
better afterwards
• If it’s those fighting
who don’t have
establishing social
justice; …

Do you think these are good reasons to go to war

for? Rank the different reasons between the poles
and give reasons why.

Good Bad
reason reason
WHAT I THINK! Just about me, selfish;
Does not achieve anything,
does not make situation
Got to protect the weak better, just hurts other
(‘Love your neighbour’); people;
Can’t let anyone destroy my Don’t need more, can be
country, have to stop them. happy with what I’ve got.

Good Bad
reason reason