That much astonishment met Jeremy Corbyn’s insistence, during a general election campaign, on achieving peace through dialogue – rather than a readiness to use nuclear weapons – shows above all the enduring audacity of peace.
Arms manufacture being what it is – if we don’t believe in peace, we believe in annihilation.
Do we believe in peace?
One important text in our shared religious heritage is the prophesy that one day people “shall beat their swords into ploughshares.” In what sense do we believe this? When – and who – shall do this?
If we pray with St Augustine, “O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet”, we can be sure the help will come sooner than we thought.
It would not be difficult to end the production of weapons. That would be a good step in the direction of peace.
But if we don’t want it – yet – peace might be established later by the small group of people who survive the nuclear bomb-fire.
And if not them, then new species will, over millions of years, emerge, and they will enjoy peace on Earth again.
And if not them, then as long as it takes – “but not yet”?