Matthew's Fifth Antithesis and Domestic Violence

  • Michael J. Brennan, O.Praem. Catholic Theological Union
Keywords: Gospel of Matthew, Domestic Violence


Our country is strained by the violent rhetoric of political divisiveness and the shooting deaths of men and women on our city streets.  And these are just a sampling of the incidents that attract major headlines; much of the violence that occurs does not ever enter into the public consciousness.  One of the types of violence that lurks below the surface is violence that occurs within the home.  It is to this world of yesteryear and today, a world soaked in violence that Jesus addresses his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  In this article, I offer a socio-rhetorical analysis of Jesus’ fifth antithesis (5:38-42), which seeks to break cycles of violence and can be read as an exhortation to church leaders of today to understand and speak out against domestic violence. 

Author Biography

Michael J. Brennan, O.Praem., Catholic Theological Union
Deacon Michael J. Brennan is a member of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology, with an emphasis in Scripture, at Catholic Theological Union. Michael holds a B.A. from St. Norbert College and a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to entering the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (Norbertines), Michael taught and coached in Catholic schools. Upon graduation from CTU this May, Michael is looking forward to his ordination and his ministry at St. Norbert College.


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