Luke Clossey

Published On


Page Range

pp. 645–692


  • English

Print Length

48 pages

21. Ethics, Pacifism, Vegetarianism

  • Luke Clossey (author)
The dominant approach to ethics in the fifteenth-century Jesus cult was oriented towards the deep ken. The chapter begins with an overview of what such ethics looked like, and then zooms in on two particular themes, investigating the deep-ken approach to issues of pacifism and vegetarianism. Neither resembles our modern attitudes towards ethics, and deep-ken vegetarianism was only tenuously linked with ethics at all. This century saw related shifts from the deep to the plain ken: from a history that transcended time to a history fractured in the first century and bent once or twice after that, from an ethics based on symbolic consonance to a constructed, articulated ethics, and from a peace based on universal harmony to one based on the actions and emotions of humans. With a focus on Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and its consequences, this chapter outlines this shift by considering both people committed to non-harm (the Waldensian Poor of Lyon, Nicholas of Hereford, Nicholas of Dresden, Petr Chelčický, Francis of Paola) as well as radical conservatives (Luke of Prague, Erasmus) who took plain-ken paths to more moderate positions.


Luke Clossey

Associate Professor of Global History at Simon Fraser University

Luke Clossey is an associate professor of global history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His first book, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge UP, 2008), won the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for best work of non-Canadian history; a chapter from it won a paper prize from the World History Association. His writings on global religion, the history of ideas, and history methodology have appeared in the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, Global History Review 全球史评 论 , History Compass, the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, and The Cambridge World History.